Mammogram

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by ku_alum, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jan 8, 2011

    I need to schedule my first ever mammogram before the summer.

    There isn't much to squish. My obgyn joked that they'd have to do a lot of pulling and stretching to make it work ... that didn't make me feel better. She went on to say that due to the density of my tissue, the test probably wouldn't yield useful results.

    :( Tell me to stop being a baby and make the phone call.
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jan 8, 2011

    Alice will have to get on to you about this in the morning! :)
    I would, but that would make me quite the hypocrite.
     
  4. creativemonster

    creativemonster Comrade

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    Jan 8, 2011

    Please make the appointment. A few minutes of discomfort to assure health - it's worth it. Early detection is key and a base line is needed for annual comparison. It is worth it. Really. I hate going too. schedule a treat right afterward - pedicure or ice coffee or whatever you like. That way you have something fun to look forward to after the cold machine. Bravo to you for taking care of yourself!
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2011

    OK, KU, you KNEW this was coming.

    The type of tumor that caused my mastectomy was incredibly rare. It wasn't picked up on a mamo-- it was the size of an orange and I noticed it one night. (Phyllodes tumors are incredibly fast growing. I found mine in April; I do mamos in June.) It was "benign, borderline malignant." (I never knew that benign/ malignant was a sliding scale; I always thought it was one or the other. Lesson learned.) Technology, in the form of 6 weeks of radiation treatments, ensured (I hope!) that it hadn't jumped the chest wall and invaded the organs there.

    The lump they found in the other breast last June, however, was smaller than a marble. Fortunately, it too, was benign. A mamo picked it up.

    The technology exists today to save the lives of women from the killer that is breast cancer. One part of that technology is a mamo.

    What she said about the density of your breasts:the oods are overwhelming that they won't find anything that is suspicious. So this mamo will probably just serve as a baseline. When you go again next January, they'll be looking for changes. So it does serve a very important purpose: it lets them know what YOUR breasts look like when healthy. Should anything ever change, they'll know by comparing future mamos to this one.

    If you were told there might be a killer in the basement, one who might or might not decide to strike, you would ask someone to investigate, wouldn't you??? You wouldn't be able to sleep at night, worrying, right???

    Breast cancer is that killer. Protect yourself-- make the appointment.

    KU and everyone else still reading: If you have never agreed with a single thing I've said here, if you hate me and all I stand for, I can live with that. But the one, most important piece of information I can give each of you is this: My "cancerversary"-- the day of the mastectomy that got rid of that Phyllodes tumor (and my breast, but the tumor is the important part) is the tenth. That's tomorrow. Make the appointment.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 9, 2011

    So well put, Alice. And thank God for your continued good health after the horrendous time you had.

    Yeah, the mammographer does seem to have to yank on your breasts to get them between the layers of the machine. I think that's true no matter what size the breasts are. It's just one of those things that none of us looks forward to having done, but is one of life's necessities. I've put mine off for a year, too, but have to make myself schedule it soon. If you do, I will.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2011

    Thanks, everyone, particularly Alice.

    For those of us that are hesitant to make the appointment or are past due for our appointment, let's all call to schedule the mammogram on Jan. 10 to celebrate Alice's cancerversary.

    I'm calling tomorrow.
     
  8. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2011

    Will do.

    Though, is it too early for me to schedule one? I'm 29, but my mom died of breast cancer.
     
  9. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm in my late twenties and I already worry about this. I have "bumpy boobs", so if I did a self-exam how in the world would I not freak out each time? I realize you're supposed to recognize changes, but I don't see how that would be possible with my breast type. I just hope for advancements to made each and every year in not only treating the disease, but searching for it.

    Oh, about the the cold factor of the machine, I know our local center has a heated contraption. At least that's one of the discomforting factors removed. :)
     
  10. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I don't know STG, 35 is the age recommended for me (I turned 36 today and will schedule my first one tomorrow). I don't have a history of breast cancer in my family. I would definitely check with your doctor (and maybe more than 1 doctor) about when you should have yours.
     
  11. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I had my first one when I was 36 and I'm probably due again next year or so. Most radiology centers are enormously gracious and do their best to make you as calm as possible. It's a somewhat uncomfortable process but not a painful one (as long as you take the marking tape off sooner rather than later). It's also one to give doctors a baseline in case there are subtle changes from visit to visit.
     
  12. teach'ntx

    teach'ntx Comrade

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    STG - talk to your doctor. I am in my thirties and my aunt, grandmom, and mom (twice) have had breast cancer. I have yet to have one, due to pregnancies and breast feeding. I am going to schedule my first one this summer.
    Alice - Very well put. They caught my mom's first one when it was small due to regular mamograms and she just needed a lumpectomy and radiation. They did not catch the second one as early, but early enough before it spread through her body (a concern for the type she had).
    Though I have not been diagnosed yet (I figure it is in my future), I truely know that early detection is how to change it from a deadly disease to a treatable one in most cases!!!
     
  13. GoldenPoppy

    GoldenPoppy Habitué

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    Jan 9, 2011

    I scheduled mine on Friday.

    When I had my first mammogram I wish that I had known that it is very common to be called back because there is something that they want to take a closer look at. I spent some anxious moments before being reassured (and I think it was here) that this wasn't unusual.

    The test itself wasn't bad. Would I want to have one frequently? No. But the discomfort didn't last long and the greater good is worth it.
     
  14. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Same here... my mom and both grandmothers had it (my mom survived breast cancer but then died from lung cancer). My doc still tells me to wait until 35... but my maternal grandmother died from breast cancer when she was only 31. Unless my doc orders it, it won't be covered by my insurance.
     
  15. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I guess I'll be making a call to my doc tomorrow to see what I need to do!

    chebretta~I'm so sorry about your mom and grandmother. My grandmother died of throat cancer, and mom of complications from breast cancer. The cancer had moved to her liver.
     
  16. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I've been getting them yearly since I was about 25 because I lost my maternal grandmother to breast cancer. I'm very small chested and it isn't a pleasant experience but neither is stepping in dog poo but it happens. Just do it.
     
  17. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 9, 2011

    Make the appointment. Period.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Well, technically it's September 10, but I'm glad you're not waiting that long. Get it over with.

    It's not nearly as bad as you're probably thinking.
     
  19. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    I had my first one over winter break. They had a brand new looking machine that didn't hurt me at all. I was pretty worried about the pancake thin layer I thought they'd smash me into, but no, nothing hurt at all. Go.
     
  20. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    It is a squeeze and a pinch and it's over in a flash. Just go.
     
  21. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    STG, I was younger than 35 when my mom was diagnoised with breast cancer. My GP did not want to refer me for a breast exam. I told him I was going to sit in his office until he did, it was my body, and I demanded an exam. I got one.
     
  22. Kindergarten31

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    I happen to have one already scheduled for Wednesday, plus I am getting an MRI on my foot at the same time. Well, technically NOT at the same time, but the same appointment. Should make for an interesting afternoon.
     
  23. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    KU, I have to schedule one soon, too. I'm dreading it also because I've heard it's painful if you have a big chest, but heck, it can't be *that* bad. LOL. *sigh*
     
  24. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    Mine is scheduled for Jan. 28th. I go every year. I don't skip any routine appointments! My one fear-a colonoscopy. My doc is begging me to go-my mom had colon cancer-and I am so afraid. Alice, you have motivated me. I will make the appointment and go do my baseline.
    Bandnerd-I am big chested. My mammograms do not hurt at all!
     
  25. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Take some advil or tylenol before you go. I wish someone had told me that before I had my first one!
    I'm also small, and in a family where there were relatives with breast cancer...so not going is not an option.
     
  26. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    I, too, am "big-chested" and I had my mammogram yesterday and there was NO pain at all. Not even alittle. Now the MRI on my foot is a whole 'nother story!
     
  27. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    They're not that bad.

    I had my first one at age 29 because one of my breasts felt a lot different than my other one. Official diagnosis--one is more dense than the other. Except for one year, I've had them done every year since then.

    It's uncomfortable, but not painful. I'm quite well-endowed, so there is lots of squeezing involved. The position I have to stand it is actually what's uncomfortable for me. Nothing even remotely like pain is involved. One of my flat-chested friends says that she is amazed that they can find anything to put on the machine for her.
     

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