Jennifer Garner is reminding her followers that October is about more than just Halloween fun – it's also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The actress, 47, gave followers a peek of her annual mammogram appointment in a video shared to her social channels, hoping to encourage others to schedule their own checkups.
“Happy October! Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and time for a mammogram, ”Garner says in her video. She keeps things lighthearted throughout the procedure, doodling on anatomical diagrams and making silly faces. While waiting for her results, the star plays with her feet and blows up a latex glove like a balloon.
Finally, her doctor comes in and says, "Okay, your mammogram looks perfect," and they both give a thumbs-up to the camera.
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She ends her doctor's visit with a victory dance while quietly chanting, “Done! Done! Done! "
Alongside the video, Garner wrote a message of support for women currently battling breast cancer and encouraging others to get checked for early detection.
" Every October I have a standing date 🙂. For a mammogram 😬. For me, having the appointment on the books makes it routine, like the dentist, ”she wrote. “I know scary, sisters, but just do it — the next best thing to clear is early detection. 💗 To everyone in the thick of the battle — respect and love and strength to you. 💗 ”
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According to the National Cancer Institute, early detection of breast cancer through mammograms allows patients to get a head start on treatment, and can decrease the likelihood of spreading.
Health officials also advise “breast self-awareness,” which means becoming familiar with how your breasts normally look and feel so you will be more likely to recognize anything out of the ordinary when doing a breast self-examination.
"For any individual, it could be the difference between less aggressive treatment and potentially longer survivorship," Marisa Weiss, MD, Director of Breast Health Outreach at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and Chief Medical Officer of Breastcancer.org, told Health last year.