Mamas of a certain age ... mammograms while nursing? - Mothering Forums
Child-Led Weaning > Mamas of a certain age ... mammograms while nursing?
Soxfan Mom's Avatar Soxfan Mom 11:00 PM 07-18-2007
My 43rd birthday is next month, and I still have the mammogram lab order written by the doctor when I went last year. She said, "just have it done when you stop nursing him." Well, here we are, and my almost-3-year-old still loves to nurse. I have been nursing nonstop since March 2000, so I never had a "baseline" mammogram, either, when I was in my mid-30s.

I just wondered if anyone out there is in my situation or has had a mammogram while nursing an older child. I'm reassuring myself that because my breasts are being used for their intended purpose, they're too busy making milk than growing bad cells. I'd probably get scolded by the MD for that. I also handle them more than a non-lactating woman my age, KWIM? So I think I'd notice a lump quicker ...

CathMac's Avatar CathMac 11:12 PM 07-18-2007
I'll be 42 this month and DD1 will be 3 at the end of August. My OB asked the mammogram expert and was told a mammogram done while nursing or pregnant won't produce a meaningful baseline, due to the thickness of the breasts.

DD2 just turned 1. I hope to nurse her for at least another year, possibly 2.

I might not be able to have one done until I'm 43 or 44.

MamaMonica's Avatar MamaMonica 11:22 PM 07-18-2007
I'm mid 40s and haven't had a mammagram because I've been nursing for the past 8 1/2 years. I figure it can wait. I found a lump once and they did a sonogram, which is safer.
OTmama's Avatar OTmama 11:33 PM 07-18-2007
I will be 38 in November this year and have never had a mammogram. I have small breasts and like pp mine are handled a lot during nursing etc, which I have been doing for almost 3 1/2 years (except for a short while during pregnancy).

My father sent me this link. Thought some of you here might be interested...according to Moss, seems there may be good reason to avoid mammography...
"Our report, "Mammography, Biopsy and the Detection of Breast Cancer" looks in depth at the largely unpublicized shortcomings of screening mammography and also discusses needle biopsies, with an explanation of the possible link between this type of breast biopsy and the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes."
Kerlowyn's Avatar Kerlowyn 11:38 PM 07-18-2007
44 here and still nursing....
Still have Rx for a mammogram sitting in my home medical files
Soxfan Mom's Avatar Soxfan Mom 11:55 PM 07-18-2007
Originally Posted by Kerlowyn View Post
44 here and still nursing....
Still have Rx for a mammogram sitting in my home medical files
Ha! I hear you. Thank you, ladies ... I don't feel so alone now. I was the only one in my office who hasn't been through "the big squeeze." And my goodness, that link from OTmama puts it in a new perspective.

MamaMonica, I trust that the lump was nothing to worry about ... the sonogram does sound like a safer route. Hope I never stumble across a lump, though.

I had a hunch putting this in CLW as opposed to the general health forum would be beneficial. Again, thank you!
MamaMonica's Avatar MamaMonica 02:35 AM 07-19-2007
Susan, the lump was nothing to worry about, thanks for asking! It was worrisome to find it but it was just a cyst, which is very common.

CLWers never know when we'll get around to the mammogram!
momuveight2B's Avatar momuveight2B 12:06 PM 07-19-2007
I will be 43 in August. I have never had a mammogram and the docs won't even do a breast exam while I am pregnant/nursing. I am 35 weeks pregnant now so it will be another four-five years before I am done nursing.

I do check my breasts and other than that I don't know what else to do.
Meiri's Avatar Meiri 01:07 AM 07-25-2007
Won't even do an exam? That's irresponsible. The CNMs I've seen over the years have done breast exams every year, whether I've been nursing or not.

I had no problem with having a mammogram when DD was 5, but she didn't nurse very frequently by then. Not that it was fun or anything, but it wasn't a big deal.
KirstenMary's Avatar KirstenMary 10:27 PM 07-25-2007
I am 38 with 5+ instances of maternal breast cancer, and my OB told me a mammogram while nursing is useless. I've been nursing for the last 4 years, and I suspect I'll probably be nursing for about 4 more, so no mammo for me anytime soon.
Meiri's Avatar Meiri 01:22 AM 07-26-2007
I think how much you're still nursing the child matters. When they're down to skipping days, I doubt that a mammogram would be useless. I did tell them that they had to have someone with experience at reading mammograms of lactating women read mine. I assume, whether I should or not, that they did so.
lszadk's Avatar lszadk 10:23 AM 07-27-2007
I say skip it, unless you have a specific thing you're concerned about. I'm only 26 but I had to have an ultrasound guided needle biopsy when pregnant, and then a mammogram a month after my son was born. Both were torture. And both now appear to have been pointless. Of course everyone's situation is different, but the whole ordeal was awful and painful. If you're just looking at a "well" visit, I don't really see any point of having one. (Also nodding with other posts about the health of your breasts due to nursing)
mommy_e's Avatar mommy_e 05:15 PM 07-27-2007
Yes - I had one last year. I have a family history of breast cancer and I am well past the point where I should be getting screenings every 6-12 mos. The place I went was a total pain and I will most likely not be going back there again so I am searching for a place that doesn't see me as a complete nut for nursing a 1 yo (which I had at the time and I'll probably wait until the current one is closer to 1 - not the ideal timing, but the best I can do right now).
dinahx's Avatar dinahx 08:27 AM 07-28-2007
Just popping in to say that I just say no to Mammograms period. I hate them, I will only ever get one *if* I find a lump and not until I get a sonogram and an MRI *first*. To me they, along with repeated biopsying over things that may turn out to be nothing *do* increase your cancer risk by themselves. In my mind, nursing does more to prevent cancer than a mammogram ever could. <3
Nan'sMom's Avatar Nan'sMom 11:09 AM 07-28-2007
I don't do mammograms either. For me, in my situation, the risks don't outweigh the benefits.
Mom4tot's Avatar Mom4tot 11:31 AM 07-28-2007
Originally Posted by MamaMonica View Post
Susan, the lump was nothing to worry about, thanks for asking! It was worrisome to find it but it was just a cyst, which is very common.

CLWers never know when we'll get around to the mammogram!

So true I think about this every so often. I agree that the sonograms are safer too.
True Blue's Avatar True Blue 12:11 PM 07-28-2007
I had one recently bc I had a sore breast and no lump to be found. We did an u/s first, and found nothing. Then, bc of my mom's history of breast cancer, the Dr did my other breast, and DID find a lump there. She was very concerned until I mentioned I am still nursing (And she was happy to hear I was nursing a 2.5 y/o, btw) and then figured it is probably a galactocele, but did mammograms to be safe. It was no big deal, I'm not sure what all the fuss is. The funniest part was that I squirted milk when compressed LOL. We had puddles. She would like me to have a needle biopsy to be safe, and with my mom's history I think I will follow through with that. I will not take the chance of missing something that could save my life, and leave my kids motherless.