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Author Topic: 1st invitation to have mammogram  (Read 15089 times)

Katejo

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1st invitation to have mammogram
« on: January 21, 2015, 08:04:31 PM »

I have just received the above. I have read the leaflet and am aware of the possibility of a diagnosis which might otherwise never be detected. I think I  probably will have it done but just wonder what others have decided. I am 51 and not aware of any signs/symptoms now  :-\
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CLKD

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2015, 08:09:52 PM »

It's free. Go for it!  Its every 5 years ……… although my cancer wasn't found on mammogram but on palpation.
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Katejo

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2015, 08:42:58 PM »

What exactly is 'on palpation'?
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ariadne

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2015, 09:15:19 PM »

Palpation is on self examination or "feeling"

Ariadne xx

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Joyce

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2015, 10:38:52 PM »

Every 3 years in Scotland. As it's your first one I'd get it done for sure.  It's a tad uncomfortable but mammograms are over & done with quickly. Worth the discomfort I reckon.
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purplenanny

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2015, 10:44:23 PM »

I have just received my letter. I have had them before. You should  definately go for it Katejo
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tiger74

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2015, 11:28:00 PM »

Where do you live katejo?  If you're in UK you should be called every THREE years (NOT every five years as stated above).

"In the UK, women between 50 and 70 are invited for breast screening every three years as part of a national breast screening programme."

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/breast-awareness/being-breast-aware/breast-screening

I had breast cancer at age 47 when I was still too young to be called forward for screening.  Oh how I wish the screening programme included younger women, I might have avoided disfiguring surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, endocrine therapy..........  To me, going for screening is a no-brainer - why wouldn't someone go?  Individual choice obviously.

I am 51 and not aware of any signs/symptoms now  :-\
By the time I was "aware of any signs/symptoms" my cancer was a large (average 5cm) multifocal mass, grade 3 and had spread to lymph nodes.  Self-examination is important but mammography, although not perfect, can spot cancer well before it is discernible by the individual.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2015, 11:41:12 PM by tiger74 »
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CLKD

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2015, 10:40:19 AM »

I'm sorry tiger that you feel the surgery you underwent is 'disfiguring'.  I never felt that, what I felt was that the surgeon was cutting out the bad bits.  I still have the breast with a 'kink' above the nipple  ::) - one stitch at the time which had 2 beads at each end ….

Sorry I digress.  Katejo - do you have any objections or worries, if so, tell us ?
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CJ-sleepless

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2015, 12:27:58 PM »

I was called last year at 47 as part of a new trial of starting the scans earlier - apparently random as to who is called and I was one of the lucky (?) ones.  It was a little uncomfortable but otherwise no problems and the staff were lovely and explained everything.  Mine came back "normal" but I still check myself regularly.  I'm in England - is this trial being rolled out all over the UK does anyone know?  Must admit when I got the letter I thought they'd made a mistake!
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Scampi

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2015, 12:45:13 PM »

I check myself regularly, but will still be glad when I am old enough for the screening.  I found something I was concerned about on self-examination a couple of years ago - went to GP and she knew straight away what it was, and that it was harmless and would probably disappear again (it has), BUT she found a lump I hadn't - she sent me to the breast clinic, and I had mammograms and biopsies.  The lump was a harmless fibroadenoma, but the whole process brought home to me just how important the screening is - my lump COULD have been nasty, and despite my regular self-examination I hadn't found it ... mammogram would have spotted it.
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Hurdity

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2015, 12:50:16 PM »

I've just been called to have mine - think it's my 4th one. I do always go but the statistics on diagnosis and survival rates are by no means clear cut. I am absolutely no expert on this but did read through the NHS booklet that came this morning with my invitation. This is what the leaflet says:

Approx 3 in every 200 women screened every 3 years age 50-70 are diagnosed with a cancer that would never have been found without screening and would never become life-threatening, leading to 4000 women per annum in UK having treatment they do not need.

It also says that "for every woman who has her life saved from breast cancer, about 3 women are diagnosed with a cancer that would never have become life-threatening".

...and that "survival from the disease has been improving over time, and now 3 out of 4 women diagnosed with breast cancer are alive 10 years later".

To me, one interpretation of this is that most of those who have survived could be the ones who were treated with a cancer that would never have become life-threatening - and therefore this skews the survival rates. We don't know whether the statement above (re survival rate) refers to all breast cancers or just those from screening...

Even despite all of this, if I was one of those who has a breast cancer that can be diagnosed from screening, that cannot easily be felt "on palpation", and which is a life-threatening form - there is no contest - have the mammogram. We never know if we are going to be one of those - and at the moment, according to the leaflet it is not always possible to tell if the cancer diagnosed is one of the life-threatening ones.

Therefore I'm going for mine - even though I do try to remember to have a feel every so often - and especially also because I am on HRT, and therefore any oestrogen responsive breast cancer that might arise (for whatever reason) will grow quicker than in someone post-menopausal and not on HRT.

I've had two lumps I found, investigated in the past when I was much younger and before mammograms - a fibroadenoma and a galactocoele (milk lump) - both harmless.

Hurdity x
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tiger74

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2015, 01:45:35 PM »

Some interesting points, ladies.

Yes, CLKD, the surgeon was "cutting out the bad bits" but, in my case this involved cutting off one huge bad bit i.e. the whole of my breast and axilla, plus the axillary nodes.  So now I only have one remaining breast, hence why I refer to my surgery as 'disfiguring'.  Good for you, that you never felt disfigured but I cannot deny that 5+ years on, I still don't think my top half is a very pretty sight.

Our different experiences of breast cancer only go to add to my assertion that I think it is better to attend screening and perhaps risk some short-term anxiety if stuff is found on a mammogram and then perhaps have to have a wide local excision ('lumpectomy' in old parlance) and perhaps radiotherapy than to be in a position where the full house of treatments is recommended and to live with ongoing concerns about metastases.         
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CLKD

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2015, 02:23:09 PM »

Oh  :hug:  Tiger - I had time to think about my outcome as at the time the initial examination found nothing sinister.  I also admire the surgeons who can stitch as well as most do: me, not being able to thread a needle  ;).  After 5 years does the result feel less 'disfiguring' for you?
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dahliagirl

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2015, 02:39:45 PM »

Hi - I am 51 too and have had 2 screenings and a recall.  I started a thread in Private lives because I was so worried about the second one - the first one was rather painful. Have a look.

Anyway, my second experience was very, very much better.  I took some painkillers before I went this time and it was absolutely fine.  I got recalled  :(  and, after looking at the original mammograms, I had about 6 x-rays taken on the one side, which was awkward because the place they were looking for was right at the back, next to the chest wall.  It didn't hurt and we were able to make sure she got the best shots of the area that she could.

I also had ultrasound, but no one could find anything.  Probably two layers of breast tissue over each other on the original mammogram, which is more likely when breast tissue is denser and when you are younger.  They were very very thorough and I am pleased they tried so hard, because even I thought the original mammo looked iffy. 

I did find a helpful diagram with lots of coloured people to show how many were screened, treated, diagnosed etc, but it has disappeared from the NICE website during their recent upgrade - It was helpful so if I find it, I will post it.
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dahliagirl

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Re: 1st invitation to have mammogram
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2015, 09:04:44 PM »

It is well worth taking something beforehand - I took 2 neurophen plus 2 hrs before, then 2 paracetomol an hour before, which I am sure is overkill. But, it did the job and it meant that when I went back for the repeats, I wasn't worried, and the radiographer could make a good job of it. :o
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