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Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive June 2004: Mammogram?
By Rayanne on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:46 am:

My worst fear is getting breast cancer. I have had surgery to remove lumps twice now. Once when I was 15 and again when I was 18. I now have 8 inside me that I know of, 3 on one side and 5 on the other. The reason that I am so worried is because, about 6 months ago, my mom had a lump removed. Thankfully they did that because they found cancer cells inside. If they had let it go, my mom might have cancer now. I went to my OB in April for an anual check up. I told him about my mom and informed him of my history and asked him if I could get a mammogram. He said that I didn't need one until I was 35. That is 10 years away from now!!! A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN 10 YEARS!!!!!!! I need to call and schedule another appointment for next April for my annual. When I call, should I talk to a nurse and ask what she thinks or what? I am really scared about this. I want one to ease my mind. I got lumps way before my mom did. She has never had them until she reached her early 40's.

By Colette on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:50 am:

I would absolutely insist on it. Especially if you have 8 lumps. I would call today and get an appointment right away for it and if your regular gyn won't do it, find one who will. That is just crazy.

By Fraggle on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:00 pm:

I would insist on it or get another doctor. My stepsister who is under 35 has breast cancer. I was reading somewhere that a lot of doctors are still not aware of the risk of breast cancer to patients under 35. While you are at it, call your insurance company and find out what is covered and whether or not you would need a referral. They can also give you the names of other doctors.

By Emily7 on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:04 pm:

When I found my lump they did an ultra sound. Maybe ask for that or ask to be sent to a specialist.

By Ladypeacek on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:06 pm:

THey have told me that you should get one by 35 OR 10 years before the age of someone in your family that has died of it, i have had 12 women on moms side that have all died before the age of 35 with breast cancer and yet the military dr.s don't think i should get one since i am only 27. My mother is also getting lumps but no cancer yet, she is lucky cuz hers is the first generation it skipped, her mother died when she was only 23. I would also INSIST upon it, or call some clinics in the area and find out about them, sometimes they have fairs where they will offer them!

By Rayanne on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:07 pm:

I had a ultrasound done about, maybe, 1 and a half years ago. That is how I know I have 8. I thought that I only had 2 and she found more. Nothing was ever done. The doctor that I saw told me that if they don't grow or hurt, not to worry about them. How can you not worry?

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:14 pm:

If your doctor will not schedule you for a mammogram, given your personal and family history, you need to ask some questions.

This may be an insurance driven decision, so call your health insurance carrier and find out if they will pay for a mammogram for you at your age AND given your personal and family history.

Then, if they will pay, go back to your doctor and tell him/her you want a mammogram scheduled ASAP or you will change doctors.

If the insurance carrier says they will only pay for medical necessity mammograms, again, go back to your doctor's office, relay this information and say you want a "medical necessity" letter and a mammogram.

If your doctor will not cooperate on this, given your personal and family history, I would be changing doctors so fast the door would not hit my backside.

I don't know where in Florida you live, Rayenne, but if you are near any major city call the bigger hospitals (preferably teaching hospitals) and find out if they specifically have a breast clinic. When I had lumps removed I had it done through the breast clinic at Einstein Northern here in Philadelphia and they were up on the latest options, techniques, etc., which my own doctor was not.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:16 pm:

I see I am repeating what Meredith/Fraggle said - but good advice bears repeating.

And, what is your doctor's authority for saying that if lumps don't grow or hurt for the time being that they are not a danger? OK, they may not be hurting or growing now but if he doesn't keep an eye on them how will he know if they change, and how else to keep an eye on them except by mammogram.

Of course, you are doing a monthly breast exam, aren't you? You need to do this no matter what other tests are or are not done.

By Trina~moderator on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:23 pm:

Have they determined what type of lumps they are? I've had two breast tumors removed (at 24, both benign) but also have fibroid cysts (lumpy breasts) that are harmless and not cancerous. We keep a close eye on them and I started getting annual mammograms at 35 due to my tumor history. Yes, definitely ask more questions, be more assertive with your doctor and do monthly self breast exams, but don't freak yourself out by this. I've BTDT. {{{HUGS}}} Recruit your DH to help with breast exams. Believe me, he won't mind! text description My DH actually found my first tumor.

By Mommmie on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:40 pm:

You can do what my aunt did and have a prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Her mom died at 50ish with breast cancer and she didn't want to have to worry about it.

By Kate on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:52 pm:

Rayanne, before I had children I used to work for one of the top breast cancer radiologists (the one who reads the mammogram x-rays) in the whole country. Her recommendations were a baseline mammogram at age 35, followed by yearly mammograms beginning at age 40. If a mother or sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, then she recommend you have your first mammogram ten years before the age at which your mother or sister was diagnosed. Since your mother is obviously older than 35, your doctor's recommendation of a mammogram at 35 for you seems appropriate. Had your mom been diagnosed at age 35, then a mammogram right now for you would be appropriate.

Obviously this is your decision. If you're a nervous wreck, then you should do whatever will make you comfortable. You can always pay out of pocket. My guess is that a mammogram these days is about $200-250. Even if you manage to get one now with insurance, I highly doubt they will continue to pay for one each year until you're much older. I can't tell you the number of women who have cystic breasts. It's very common and most often harmless. Do you eat a lot of caffeine? Caffeine often causes breast cysts. If you do consume a lot of caffeine, try cutting down and see if your lumps go away or shrink.

By Marg on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:29 pm:

My mom died of cancer, we found the lump, but it was all through her for about 25 years+.

Switch doctors, go to your ob/gyn. I was 36 when mom died, he makes me, yes makes me get one every year. Your insurance may not pay for it, mine does not, because I'm not 40 yet. Kate is right about the costs, or at least that's the cost around our area.

Rayanne, don't give up. Do what is best for you!

By Rayanne on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:46 pm:

I just talked to my doctor's office and they gave me an appointment for July 19th at 1:00pm. Hopefully, he will be able to write me a script to get one done. I will let you all know what happens. Thank you for all your advice.

By Luvn29 on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:19 pm:

I'm only 25 and I have had several mammograms because of lumps removed at age 18. For the past three years, I have had them done every SIX months!!! Ugh! That gets old, but we are watching a couple of lumps that I have, and I feel it's better safe than sorry. There is no history of breast cancer in my family, but there is history of other cancer. My lump was benign, but it showed changes in the tissue that could mean it was possible to turn into cancer. So we are careful.

I would definitely insist on a mammogram, because without checking it, there is no way of knowing it isn't growing. It could be growing towards the inside of your breast rather than outwards. I'm not trying to bring gloom and doom because more than likely it is nothing more than a fibrous cyst, but I feel like you are correct in not wanting to take any chances.

Good luck and many prayers~!

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