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Menopause Matters magazine ISSUE 63 out now. (Spring issue, March 2021)

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Author Topic: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please  (Read 17664 times)

catweazle7

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2012, 07:54:43 AM »

Of course no-one wants breast cancer. I made my decision based on my personal risk factors and all the evidence I could find. As I said I check myself regularly and will go to my gp if I find anything untoward.
Many women say 'ah but they found something on my mammo' - but how do they know they aren't one of the ones that were unnecessarily treated and now have to live the rest of their lives with the knowledge that they are 'cancer patients'?
I don't want the worry of being wrongly diagnosed and over treated, there are far more women in that category.
Treatments are so good these days if you do find anything yourself there's every chance you will be successfully treated.
There's a big industry built up around breast screening and arguments have been put forward in the press that women aren't given the full picture and are pressurised into having mammos through scare tactics.

As we've said before it's a personal decision and this feels right for me.  :)

Catweazle xxx
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Keep Calm and Carry On

Machair

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2012, 08:29:04 AM »

I am a registered nurse and have declined my invitations for mammography based on extensive research.

I'm with Catweasle on this one and I know that it is a very difficult decision for many women who are in this position. I can't advise as it is a personal decision for us all. I looked at the evidence, risk factors and dangers of the procedure with regards to radiation and of over diagnosis.

I think women should be much more informed and made aware of the screening benefits and dangers and be encouraged to then make their own minds up. I do not believe we are all sheep and should be treated as individuals. The test isn't the same as a smear, it does carry a risk, however small, and this must be looked at alongside the benefits.

One word of caution for ladies who do attend and those that don't and this is based on the experience I gained working in the top breast clinic in London. Breast cancers can grow very quickly-3cms lump in 6 months or put another way 1cm in 2 months depending on the type. Vigilance is the key with regard to self examination, and a clear mammogram only holds for a short time and can lead to the idea that a lady is clear for 3 years which is far from the case.
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Milliemoo

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 09:27:05 AM »

I always go.  I've had loads due to having had lumps and bumps and pains over the years since my early 30s.

Nothing's burst as yet!
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oldsheep

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2012, 09:46:58 AM »

I'm also unsure. Have never had one. No history in my family. Been on low dose HRT since late 2010.
Can't discuss with the GP (not that sort of GP) so all opinions on here are v helpful.
If you refuse your screening appointment and then subsequently find a worrying lump on self examination, do they treat you any differently or slowly from women who have dutifully been for their mamm?

I've had a lot of worrying tests recently with no resolution, so for me it's also "can I deal with the results if they call be back, or say they found something". Not sure the answer is yes right now.

On the radio, a consultant said the risks of over treatment surgery were going to be explained in future routine appointment info.
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Suzi Q

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2012, 12:17:46 PM »

IM a direct result of the same hysteria going on now about mamos
In my case in the 90s it was HRT you could hardly find anyone who would prescribe it
It gave you heart atacks gave you strookes gave you cancer addled your brain
So at 36 I lost my periods and now have severe atrophy at 58 all cos of the hysteria
If I had my time again Id demand HRT but then you didnt know you just accepted what GPS told you

You either want a mamo or dont but like everything you take your chances
Its a person choice Id not say to anyone dont or do
KNowmatter how much we check or think we know knowone not even the best of us can predict the future
I chose not to give my son the whopping cough in the trip;le antigen he got Croup was in hpsital really sk
But to this day I dont regret the choice I made was it the right one probably not but again it was in the hysteria time
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CLKD

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2012, 12:50:12 PM »

I don't think that a Consultant would treat a patient who declined a mammogram any differently from a lady who chooses to go on a regular basis.  I have had mammograms for years - the amount of radiation is no different from that received from the TV or computer monitor  ;).  I have had no effects of radiation!

It is a personal choice.  But women do need to be more aware that the 'C' word is not an instant Death Sentence.  Women have for many years had the opportunity of talking with Surgeons to find out how familiar they are with treatment/surgery etc..  Combine the shock of diagnosis with a Consultant telling a patient that they require surgery/treatment for any type of cancer or chronic illness and the sufferer may well feel bamboozled into a treatment plan.  I never felt rushed but I did feel the need to rid myself as quickly as possible from any cancer cells.  This is where having a 2nd opinion and being able to talk with Cancer Nurses/Macmillan etc. is useful.

People near the 'C' word and instantly shut down.  What Surgeons need to be prepared to offer is a cooling off period where the patient can go away, talk with the GP/Practice Nurse about any results and treatment offered and form a list of questions to ask at a future visit.  I know we felt shocked when told I needed further treatment.  The Consultant was also shocked as he was 'not expecting cancer to be found in my case'.

Every day is a learning curve.  Ask, ask, ask  ;)

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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

sweatybet

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2012, 10:52:42 AM »

The radiation is alot more than a tv or computer.  It is the risk/benefit that is considered.   If a women declines her routine screening but subsequently finds something no doctor will judge.   The information provided is to  help women make up their minds about whether to go.  Any GP will push you to go simply because they earn money that way.
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Batty Old Bird

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2012, 07:41:06 PM »

I would always go for a mammogram as I wouldn't trust myself to check properly. In fact I don't check myself at all. Foolish I know, but that's how it is.
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I won't sit down and I won't shut up, and most of all I won't grow up! 


Frank Turner

Taz2

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2012, 07:48:21 PM »

I didn't know they got paid to refer you. I still think that we are so lucky to have this facility though and I would always go.

This may be helpful as to the risks http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/what-the-breast-screening-review-means

Taz x
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honeybun

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2012, 08:42:39 PM »

Years ago when i had a breast lump I went for a mammogram (I was mid 30s). The mammogram was inconclusive and I then had a much more accurate ultrasound. It was a cyst. Surely if there is something seen on a mammogram it is a starting point for more investigation. I have known quite a few people with best cancer and not one have had treatment on just a mammogram result.

I think this is standard procedure.  No one forces you into any treatment. Consultants can only advise and surely that is the best option.

Honeyb
x
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tropical-moment

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2012, 05:28:49 PM »


My Mamo appointment has just come through. 27th Nov 1.48pm. Mamogram unit on local Tesco car park.

I'll be going especially as mom has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

TM
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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain!  
"For unto each life, a little rain must fall."

sweatybet

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2012, 12:34:34 PM »

Remember, a mamo is a snapshot of the breast at that moment. It can give you a false sense of security   It may not pick up very small tumours so continue to self exam every month.   Get anything unusual checked out.   www.thefamilygp.co.uk Dr Chris Steel has a video on self exam.

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Batty Old Bird

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2012, 05:22:00 PM »

My breasts are so huge that I doubt that I'd feel a small tumour anyway, even if I did check them. I know that if ever anything was found I wouldn't hesitate in having them both removed, no messing!
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Frank Turner

Spadger

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2012, 03:52:21 PM »

After a lot of thought and weighing up the pros & cons I actually decided to go for my mammogram (yesterday), I didn't think I would, however I even surprise myself sometimes! 
Quite uncomfortable, but the ladies were lovely and I was only there for 15 minutes, now I have to wait and see what the outcome is... Achey boobs for a few hours afterwards :boobs: but all honky dory again today. 
Thanks for all the comments and advice, I really appreciate it.
Spadger x
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CLKD

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Re: Not sure about going for a mammogram - advice please
« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2012, 03:55:13 PM »

Well Done!  You now have a base-line from which to work.

My lump was found on self exam and didn't show on Mammogram.  But there were chances that, following surgery, cells would float even after radiation so mammos were recommended.
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!
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