Jennifer Garner Shares Mammogram Video on Instagram

Jennifer Garner, who will forever be known as Jenna Rink from 13 Going on 30, took to Instagram on Thursday to share a very important Breast Cancer Awareness Month video: a video of herself getting an annual mammogram.

But sharing such an intimate affair with her 7.4 million followers wasn’t the only reason to give a nod to Garner – the 47-year-old actress also offered a great tip that all women can benefit from remembering to prioritize their annual checkups: set a date and make it a routine – every year.

“Every October I have a set date . For mammograms,” she wrote in her Instagram caption.” For me, booking an appointment on the books makes it routine, just like the dentist. I know it’s scary, sisters, but just do it.” Garner’s video shows her being silly during the exam, and you can see her getting all the permission she needs from her doctor at the end of the video.

Her post, as silly as it is (in true Jennifer-Garner-on-Instagram fashion), is a good reminder of the importance of getting an annual mammogram – a “standing date” like Garner’s only ensures that you don’t forget. Also. Garner is right, you need to get screened every year. The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women between the ages of 45 and 54 be tested annually, and starting at age 55, women can get a mammogram every two years.

In case this is your first year having a mammogram (or if you need a gentle reminder of what happens during the procedure), they are relatively simple procedures to perform. During a mammogram, you’ll remove your shirt and bra, and your breasts will be X-rayed once at a time.

During the x-ray, a plastic plate will be pressed against each breast to flatten them in ordder spread tissue, so it’s easier to find tumors or other signs of breast cancer, according to Planned Parenthood. Will it be uncomfortable? Possibly – Garner’s face definitely indicates this will be the case – but only for a few seconds. The entire mammogram process lasts about 15 minutes, according to Planned Parenthood.

After your mammogram, the technologist will look at the film to make sure they don’t need to take it again (FYI: the technologist won’t check for signs of cancer – the radiologist will check the film after the technologist gives it the OK). Since the time it takes radiologists to report to patients varies, according to Planned Parenthood, it’s wise to consider asking your doctor how long they think it will take to receive a response. Planned Parenthood suggests calling your doctor if you don’t hear back within a month.

Garner puts forth a (great!) Perspective, i.e., getting screened, is uncomfortable, but it can help you in the long run.” The next best thing to going all in is early detection than going all in. For everyone in the fight – respect and love and strength for you,” she wrote, while adding the hashtag #idonttakemycleartestforgranted.