I just want to second all the encouraging words about testing.
My father has survived bladder cancer, colon cancer, and several occurrences of skin cancer (as well as a six-way heart bypass). In the case of the bladder cancer, he refused to see a doctor about the bleeding until it got so bad that he finally agreed to be taken to the emergency room. The great loss of blood weakened him so much that the surgery took a bigger toll on him than it needed to, and he had to have four units transfused.
After that, I became a nag
and kept dragging him to doctors for checkups and precautionary testing -- and that's how everything else got caught early enough to be handled with relative ease. He'll be 86 next month, and in spite of all he's been through, he's in remarkably good shape.
So get tested. And don't accept a test result that you just don't feel is right! A couple of years ago, Clyde walked across my chest and revealed to me a lump I would never have found otherwise, so I went to my doctor. She couldn't find it at all, and told me not to worry -- it was probably just "an area of dense tissue."
I have no insurance, so it was tempting to accept that... but my best friend works for the American Cancer Society, and he found a program through the Centers for Disease Control that would allow me to be tested more thoroughly at reduced cost. Sure enough, there was indeed a very elusive lump. It was removed and turned out to be benign (thank goodness!) -- but the surgeon discovered that I have a condition that multiplies my cancer risk by five to eight times... so now I know I have to be very alert. (Thank you, Clydie!)
By the way -- they're saying now that MRI is more accurate than the standard mammogram... but sources for MRI are harder to find, so go ahead and make your appointment months ahead of your due date.
If you're lucky enough to have insurance, or can afford medical care yourself, don't hesitate a moment! You should get your colonoscopy and endoscopy and echocardiogram and stress test (and probably some others I'm not thinking of) as early as you can... and repeat them regularly as you age.
And now if I can just get insured, I'll take my own advice!