The last time I had a mammogram was when I turned 40, and the experience then was not unlike feeling as if the skin on my back had been pulled so taut it would tear. Apparently the technology has improved, because today's mammogram was not nearly as painful. In fact, it was pretty painless, and I had a good time joking around with the tech. She was so matter-of-fact about lifting one boob, adjusting it around, moving one arm this way or that, pulling the robe further back for a fuller view, easing some more tissue by the armpit forward to get more boob in the x-ray, and that kind of stuff. Okay, so this is probably TMI.
But really, it didn't hurt--a Pap smear is worse, and that's hardly bad. So there is no excuse other than stomp-down laziness to not have this procedure done annually, especially when she informed me that the technology has gotten so good that now the teeniest grain of cancer can be spotted way down in the tissue, well before it even approaches a lump you could actually feel. If it's caught at that point, the cancer is 100% treatable and curable, so there's no reason to not get this exam. Insurance covers it, and if you don't have insurance, there are programs that will pay for you to get the procedure for free, such as this one.
On an interesting side note, I noticed that the mammography machine had the name "Hologic" stamped on it, and it's not without some pleasure