Can we talk about mammograms? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 08-31-2012, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm scheduled for my first one next week. I had a physical earlier this week, and they found a "lump or mass" so I'm ready to learn more and see what it is. My doctor is guessing it's a cyst, given that I'm having some pain in that area.

 

Anyway, just wondering if anyone out there has had a mammogram. What should I expect? Has anyone had a diagnostic mammogram? Are there questions you recommend that I ask?


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#2 of 13 Old 09-01-2012, 08:00 PM
 
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I haven't had a mammogram, but I wanted to bump this up for attention. Anyone have experience or advice to share?
 

ETA: CI Mama, I hope the results of the mammogram are helpful and that you are pain-free soon.


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#3 of 13 Old 09-03-2012, 11:24 AM
 
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It's so funny that HappyHappyMommy bumped this up.  I had a rather agonizing experience recently regarding my mammogram.

 

I had a baseline at 35.  I had one last year at age 40 and so this year at age 41 was my third mammogram.  The tech. this year was all about my comfort, which I guess is great, however, she didn't seem to "squeeze" or press down very hard on the girls.  She probably asked me 10 times for each compression if I was okay. 

 

I kind of think she did a crappy job.  She ended up asking to re-do my LEFT breast at that same appointment.  (Of course, I was horrified she saw something.) (I should add that I don't have huge boobs or anything.  I'm a 36 B.)

 

An hour after getting done, I received a phone call that something was found in my RIGHT breast and I needed a diagnostic mammogram. I asked for the next available appointment, which was the following day.  Needless to say, I did not get any sleep from worry, so I am so sorry you are going through this right now.

 

I had a different tech.  They took different views and used smaller paddles, and she squished the heck out of the girls.  She told me that they were showing the films to whoever the person who reads them is right then. She then stated that I would get a ultrasound of my breast next and then they would determine if they wanted to see my again in six months or do a biopsy.  (It seems this is pretty standard procedure with a diagnostic mammogram.)

 

Imagine my surprise (and I think this new tech.'s) when she came back into the room to say that they couldn't find anything.  They weren't really sure why I had been called back.  I didn't need an ultrasound and I could get my next mammogram in a year.

 

Lesson learned here is that the technician is really important for this.  Also, to go with your story, both my grandma and aunt have had multiple cysts in their breasts, both painful and not.  It was super scary for both of them, but it was fine in the end.  Please let us know how it went for you!

 

ETA:  I'm sorry, I really went off topic from what I also wanted to tell you.  Getting a mammogram isn't bad.  Does it hurt?  I think it's just really uncomfortable, but it's only that way for a few seconds, honestly.  They will position your breast on this machine and then squish it with what they call a "paddle" which kind of looks like a hard clear plastic piece of rubbermaid or tupperware.  I've heard different people say that you should hold your breath and some say you shouldn't.  I've always just stayed as still as I possibly could, which is what they usually ask you to do.  They will adjust the paddle using the machine and manually with gears.  After my experience, I say the more squished your boob is the better!  They will probably ask if you are having pain or have a lump somewhere and they will focus on that area. 

 

Good luck! I'll be thinking of you!

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#4 of 13 Old 09-04-2012, 07:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses!

 

Childbirth has given me a whole new perspective on pain, so I'm not worried about being able to handle that part of things. They have me scheduled to do an ultrasound immediately following the mammogram, just in case they find something that they want to explore further. I'll let you know how it goes!


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#5 of 13 Old 09-06-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The mammogram went fine and was really no big deal in terms of pain/discomfort.  They did the ultrasound and found a cyst, so now I have to wait for a follow-up with my doctor to see what to do about that. Does anyone have experiences with breast cysts? Are there any natural remedies that can help them go away (or not form in the first place)?


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#6 of 13 Old 09-07-2012, 03:23 AM
 
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My aunt and grandma were told to stay away from caffeine.  I've heard that some women are just genetically more susceptible.  Glad to hear that it went well.  My grandma actually had her cysts removed, but that was back in the day.  My aunt just had biopsies, so they might just watch it, but not do anything to it.

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#7 of 13 Old 09-07-2012, 05:31 AM
 
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I have many cysts.  Generally it is something dr. just watch but not worry too much about.  No treatment or anything.  

 

Natural remedies: I started drinking soy milk and that seems to help but the studies on soy milk and breast health are mixed.  That is all I have tried so far. 

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#8 of 13 Old 09-07-2012, 05:12 PM
 
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CI Mama, I'm glad to hear that the mammogram went fine. I don't have experience with breast cysts, but I hope that you can find a resolution to the cyst easily and comfortably.smile.gif
 


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#9 of 13 Old 09-17-2012, 05:20 AM
 
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Aquitane -- I saw a post of yours and wonder how to contact you. If you could spare a minute, would you mind sending me an email? My address is JJJebay @ yahoo.com. Thanks! ~JOY in Chicago

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#10 of 13 Old 09-17-2012, 05:18 PM
 
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CI Mama, how are you doing?
 


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#11 of 13 Old 09-18-2012, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm good, thanks for asking!

 

I heard back from my doctor, who sent me a letter saying that the lump was a cyst and was therefor non-cancerous. My prolactin levels appear to be normal as well. She doesn't seem to think that more follow-up is needed, other than annual check-ups and mammograms on a normal schedule.

 

However, my breasts are still twice the size they were before I got pregnant (which is way too big for me), they still produce small quantities of milk, and the cysts are still sometimes painful. So as pleased as I am to know that I don' t have cancer, I still feel like I have some issues to address, just not sure how to go about it. I don't know if there are dietary changes or herbal supplements that would help my breasts feel better. I'm not really sure where to start looking!


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#12 of 13 Old 09-18-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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OHJoy-Please feel free to PM me.

 

CI Mama- what great news!  I am sorry for your continued discomfort.  Sorry, I don't have any suggestions.
 

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#13 of 13 Old 09-18-2012, 07:53 PM
 
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Thanks for updating, CI Mama. I'm glad to hear your good news. I hope some other members will have some suggestions for the pain you dealing with and that you are pain-free soon. hug.gif


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