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Pages: Mammograms [1]
Author Topic: Mammograms

Posts: 2

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2011-01-30 13-24-41

Mammograms If you're like me, you've heard quite a few horror stories about getting a mammogram. Someone even told me it was more painful than birth! I had my baseline mammogram yesterday, my first (I'm 39). Not only was it not painful in the slightest, it really wasn't even uncomfortable. I asked the technologist a bunch of questions, trying to figure out what the fuss was about. She said that everyone's breasts are different consistencies, and it hurts for a rare few. Some people are more uncomfortable. Some people come in when their breasts hurt already, and the test makes it worse. I wanted to let everyone know that it absolutely isn't anything to be afraid of! Also, it's good to get a baseline test. A baseline should be done when you're completely healthy. It's something that all future tests will be compared to, so it's important. A monthly self-exam is much more unpleasant, honestly. Go get a mammogram, especially if there is cancer in your family! Sorry if this is preachy, but when I realized I was scared for nothing I figured there must be others in the same situation. Don't let that prevent you from getting a mammogram. Ask your doctor what s/he recommends and if it's time for yours.
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Posts: 2

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2011-01-31 5-04-55-

Mams are sometimes uncomfortable for me The most uncomfortable was when I had a frozen shoulder-and the positioning hurt the shoulder! And the x-ray plate that the small machine held was to small to get my whole breast in shot--so plates of each view. The large mam machine was out of order. I expect the in a few weeks to be slightly uncomfortable, because I have a "tender cyst" that will be removed the next day. I don't like it compared to the discomfort of birth. Even in that instance, my medicated menstrual cramps were worse than unmedicated birth, and dental root canals with medication are the worst pain. We all perceive discomfort/pain differently.
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  • Zahid

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    Posts: 4

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    2011-01-31 7-16-42-

    wow thanks. I've heard a lot about how painful it's supposed to be. I have to admit I flinched big time when I saw it done on TV. I can't imagine getting squashed so flat wouldn't hurt.
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    2011-02-03 4-16-45-

    Use your hands Put hand on top and the other underneath. Push your hands together, and you can see that you can get squashed pretty flat before it becomes uncomfortable. They do that view and with the plates on the side. The technician told me that if you have implants it's views for each breast instead of each! Better yet, have a friend do this for you (foreplay?).
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    Posts: 4

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    2011-02-03 6-46-19-

    more on mams The pressure of flattening you a little, right near your rib cage can kind of be uncomfortable--but it does not bring tears to my eyes like some dental x-rays. It is a brief period of time. I think women who are small breasted are harder to get into the squeeze between the plates and therefore it is uncomfortable--but only briefly. For those of us who are larger with very dense breast tissue--the real issue is that the mam is not as effective. The x-ray does not pass well through dense tissues. Ultrasound or some form of c/t scan is often needed. Insurance companies do not want to pay for these as initial scans--however many people no consider mam technology as archaic.
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    2011-02-03 11-23-01

    i agree! i, too, had always heard they hurt something awful. But to tell the truth... i didn't see what the big deal was when i got mine d Yeah it looks and seems like it'd be painful but i hardly felt a thing. I went back and asked a few of my friends WHY exactly they said it hurt and, like you said, each of them had done when their breasts already hurt in the first place. Well no wonder! :-)
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    Posts: 20

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    2011-02-04 8-26-47-

    mine was okay but I didn't like the way the technician pushed of my breasts inbetween the plates when it hadn't quite all gone between them - very undignified. At least she had warm hands
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  • nagata

    Posts: 15

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    2011-02-04 10-04-03

    In their defense I would guess that after doing mammograms for years it becomes just another body part in their minds. Mammogram technicians work with breasts and x-ray technicians work with ankles -- all body parts. What seemed undignified to you may have seemed routine to the technician. Honestly, I'm not sure what the big deal is about breasts anyway. I mean, I love them as much as the next woman but it seems like a funny thing to keep covered sometimes. We have to keep them covered and guys don't have to keep theirs covered, all because ours have more fat? I've seen plenty of men with boobs bigger than mine. But I digress.
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  • Adel

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    2011-02-22 13-33-41

    thanks for the giggles... they are much needed today. :)
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    Posts: 16

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    2011-05-09 12-44-52

    I had never realised before that anyone who has had breast implants can't have a mammogram nor is it possible to do a thorough self-examination. That information should be made more public,it might stop some women from having implants
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  • Shawnee

    Posts: 26

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    2011-10-11 17-14-00

    not quite true, women that have implants can have mammograms (and should) BUT whereas a regular routine mammo is x views of each breast, Implant mammos begin with at least x per breast -- and the exams is really unpleasant because we have to manually displace the implant (ow!) also, implants degrade image quality, and make it verrrry difficult to spot leisons. This is something i think every woman considering implant should be told, but i don't think they are.
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    Posts: 27

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    2011-10-26 5-51-54-

    ty,I guessed I was probably generalising I just hope I never want implants
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  • arndt

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    Posts: 34

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    2012-06-28 2-16-31-

    Uh, yikes. You do still get paps every couple of years though, right? I avoided them too for a long time. I had a bunch of bad doctor experiences which now make me require a massive sedative before appointments, but I still go. I worked out a compromise with my family health organization telling the doctor (I get a differenteveryyears) that because I'm a lesbian, I'm fairly low-risk in my behaviour, and because of the stess involved in the collection of the specimin that I would only get the pap every x years. And if I have a problem, at least I have a place I can go.
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  • hoye

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    2013-03-14 19-42-11

    oh no. I don't go to the doctor. I only go to my shrinks and my eye doctor. Other than that, I'm pretty healthy and come from a mediy healthy family, that is until I'm x. Then things go downhill.
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  • garand

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    Posts: 65

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    2013-03-16 17-47-02

    It's a personal choice of course, but I would really encourage you to build a heathcare support system for yourself so that if / when you need them it won't be as stressful. Simple things can turn into big deals over time. I had recurrent yeast infections I was treating myself or going to a clinic (stress!) and because I was never properly treated it developed into a very painful vestibulitis, I got a cyst, it was horrible and painful forYEARS. All because I didn't get regular care and it was more difficult for me to seek treatment for a common problem. If I'd been going yearly, I would have gong to the same doctor every time a problem came up and I would have prevented a lot of pain and suffering. You are really doing yourself no favours by not going. Compared to dealing with a problem, a pap everyyears is NOTHING. It's part of taking care of yourself. Part of nurturing and protecting yourself. Sorry to go on and on, but I really wish I'd done things differently and it was so easy to prevent. I found it really helped to have a friend be with me (even if she/he is just waiting in the waiting room) and to meet with the doctor ahead of time explaining that it's hard for you. Oh, and get valium or ativan. These things help if you ever decide to go.
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    Sr. Member
    Posts: 42

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    2013-06-23 13-01-21

    when scheduling a Mammo...look at your "monthly" schedule. Everyone has those few days during PMS that are really sensitive. Avoid those days...and it's all good. I have had several...and none were uncomfortable. Of course, that was when they were MUCH larger, I have not taken the new smaller improved version out for a mammo yet :)
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    Posts: 22

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    2014-03-25 12-26-25

    perfect timing! I am off to take my national Mammography license exam today! As a mammographer in training, I can tell you that the mammo experience really varies for different women, but as techs, we really do try to make is as bearable (if not completely pleasant) for the patient as possible. The use of compression is vital -- in order to uniformly spread out the different kinds of breast tissue and get the most detailed image possible. Incomplete compression is the leading cause for missed lesions (and results in higher radiation dose to boot). Make sure to talk to your technologist, we do this all day and sometimes just verbalizing fear or apprehension makes the exam more tolerable. In an ideal world, mammos wouldn't be uncomfortable -- but three cheers to all of you that step up and go do it. You could be saving your own life! (and cross your finger for me today -- after all of the license exams i've had in the last year, thisis definately the hardest)
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  • macdonnell

    Posts: 106

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    2014-06-07 17-34-11

    good luck!
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    2014-09-26 22-37-15

    yes, good luck, and clear thoughts!
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  • mcmillin

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    2015-07-06 4-45-49-

    Thanks for your post And good luck on your exam! Also, do you have some professional opinions about the exam that doesn't use mammography? I wish I knew more (like a name, for example) but someone was telling me that they were getting them instead of mammograms. I was also told that if that test found something suspicious that they would still need to get a mammogram, but that it saves you from having to do mammograms every time. It sounded a little too new and uncertain to me, so I went with the standard mammogram and didn't ask any further questions. Someone else might be interested, though. Thanks!
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    2015-12-10 20-04-36

    it's ed breast thermography Apparently it can catch tumors well before they can be seen on a mammogram. My doctor has wanted me to get a baseline thermogram for several years. A lot of chiropractors are doing them in my area and I'm suspicious of their training. There is, however, a reputable place about an hour's drive away. The problem for me is that the "technician" is male. I can't make myself go. I had a horrible time with my first mammogram. They found something unusual. I was referred to a cancer center. I hadormore sets of films andultrasounds. I wouldn't the mammograms pleasant, but after a few compressions, they hurt. The last thing they did was a "rolled manoeuver." It was pure torture, but thanks to that one, I was cleared. I hate mammograms. If there were a reputable place within a half-day's drive that had a WOMAN doing the thermograms, I'd take the time off from work, drive out there, and pay for the whole thing out of pocket. I haven't found a place yet.
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