Am I a wimp? Because I don't think that I will ever have another mamogram!
So, 40, had my first mamogram after a lump scare. Truly, they may have to be falling off for me to ever have that done again.
I am large, a very firm E. She squished them so hard (and yes, I do understand that they have to get a picture) that the skin bruised and eventually cracked and leaked serum from the swelling from the bruising. They stuck to the inside of my bra where the serum dried to the material and I had to peel them out for days. THis after I had tears streaming down my face and had broken into a sweat.
When 2 weeks later they were finally healed, the itching started. OMG!!! I was using a scrub brush!
Anyone?? I seriously will not do this again. I don't consider myself pain intolerant - I walked around on a tumor in my foot for a year. Have had broken bones for days before giving up and going to the doctor, but months later, I still cannot shake the memory of that PAIN!
Here, they give you a questionary and ask you about the procedure and go over it again if you say you had any discomfort, before you leave.
Did you notify them about your problems?
I will say, if you are not checked and have a tumor, by the time you notice it and they have to do something about it and put you on chemo, you will wish all you had to do is get a mammogram, even if it was a bad experience, which it should not have been anyway.
As a 15yr BC Survivor, I can tell you DO.NOT.Skip.This.Exam.
Try talking to the tech doing the procedure - some are better than others.
Also ask about the new sonographic or ultrasound mammos, if you can qualify that may be a better way for you to go.
Let me tell you, from my lumpectomy/lymphectomy I have adhesions that make getting the mammo quite not a picnic.
Even on my almost-B-cup tatas.
And post-surgery/radiation, I had to go every 6 months for 2 years.
That was fun...NOT!
But the alternative is far worse.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
My Mom is a women's health care sales specialist. She works for Hologic and sells different units. They have a new one that was released I think last year that is supposed to be way, way better than what you described. My Mom is a C cup and has no pain and no sores or anything after hers. Look around because they are out there. But I agree with 2DogsFarm, it is not something you want to skip.
If you PM me, I can find out who the rep is in your area and find a place that has the new equipment. Part of my mom's territory is Northern KY (just across the Ohio border) and I know she's pretty close with the woman who covers the Louisville area.
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Although never a fun way to spend 10 minutes, the discomfort varies greatly depending upon the skill of the technician. I'm small and tall - one time a short technician had so much trouble I wound up with not very nice bruising from the pulling on the skin the way she placed the girls. She was gone by the next year.
Let the place where you had it done know how dissatisfied you were, if you haven't already. And another "the alternative is worse" reminder.
I second trying to see if you can get an ultrasound mammogram. I had some cysts and my doctor sent me for an ultrasound and it was much more pleasant than getting a regular mammogram. It does take quite a bit longer, but that would probably be worth it if you didn't have to go through that pain again.
As a 13 year BC survivor now undergoing radiation for a recurrence... that was NOT caught on a mammogram!! I still would never skip one! I am small and I had a mastectomy so barely have any tissue on the right side. They still try to squish it as much as possible (and this time, it was a different tech and I don't think she did a great job). Believe me, a bit of pain is NOTHING compared to losing a breast, undergoing chemo, etc.
They can do u/s too... I imagine it may be painful if you have big breasts, but little breasts are no fun games either... but I'd gladly do it time and time again!
The alternative is just too scary, unpleasant and emotionally exhausting!
I would have got the name of the technician and called back to register a complaint. Do you have to go back to the same lab?
Oh Ugh! I was going to tell you about my first mammogram back in the early '90's, also a lump scare, and how nasty it was, similar to yours, and how much better they are now but you seem to have found that same technician - too bad - I thought she'd surely be dead by now.
Well, to be frank now that I am in my 50's and not so . . .
"perky" after a child and breast feeding and age the procedure was not too bad, although I'd put it off ever since that first one, it was so traumatic. You're local to me so I'll recommend Georgetown Hospital - I hope that you have the same experience I did if you choose to/are able to go there.
ETA I know when I complemented the tech on the ease of the procedure she told me that the newer machines were "much better" - perhaps they have one of the machines mentioned in a previous post?
You must not stop getting them..you need to speak up and tell them about this awful experience so they can either use a different type of machine, or a tech that is better at it...BC is much more painful to go through than even the worst mamongram...
... She squished them so hard (and yes, I do understand that they have to get a picture) that the skin bruised and eventually cracked and leaked serum from the swelling from the bruising. ...
I am WAY older than you; and I've never had one; will never have one.
Why? Because I have NO intention of being 'kept alive' only to be put on this drug, or that drug ... which will cause me to develop this condition, so I can be placed on that other drug. Ad infinitum.
I have enough physical problems; I have NO intention on spending any more time with a Dr. than I must.
I know a person who seems to relish every one of her 17 million Dr. appts/procedures that she has managed to garner over the last 15+ years.
That is not for me.
I've NO intention of spending the last 6 months of my life in chemo and/or worrying about cancer. If I should ever get it; well, we all must check-out of Hotel Earth one day: I'll be damned if I'm going to sully what's left of my stay here with that particular worry.
Having lost my birth mother to breast cancer, I just can't imagine passing on a procedure that would help me identify a problem that may risk my life.
But then again, people still smoke cigarettes and go to tanning beds and do all sorts of other stupid a$$ sh** despite the evidence against it all, so i guess I won't ever understand.
I understand your pain, and as a person who can barely tolerate the gyno palpating her breasts during the yearly exam (seriously sends me writhing off the table, and gritting my teeth i HATE IT) I'm scared of my first mammogram as well. But I just couldn't NOT have the procedure done.
My Bio mom had four excellent years before she went into remission, and was able to stay with her daughter and watch her grow until age 8. Her daughter has actual memories of her mom while she was alive, because her mom did get mammograms, and later went through chemotherapy and radiation.
All that said, i hope you filed a complaint so that other women will have a more comfortable experience during their mammograms.
MrB's attempt at talking like a horse person, "We'll be entering in the amateur hunter-gatherer division...."
I almost passed out during my first exam. The tech had to stop, call in a nurse, I had to lie down, feet elevated yada yada. And some time passed before we could continue. Wan't the most fun I'd ever had. But my second one due and I'll go. But I will warn the tech that I might pass out on her, lol. I'm a weenie. But glad to hear that I'm not the only one uncomfortable with the exam.
Discomfort does not even begin to describe the pain I felt during the procedure.
I agree! There is "discomfort" and there is passing-out-from-pain mammograms. I've had both. My first at age 30 (family history) was no problem, slight discomfort.
My second was peripheral vision lost, room graying out, seeing stars, millisecond from collapsing on the floor pain. I had bruises on my chest wall for two weeks from that. This was a different location, so it could have been the equipment.
All my mammograms since then have been no problem. The one different thing was the painful mammogram tech was in her 20's, all other techs have been in their 50's +and most likely get mammograms themselves. So that's my theory for my personal experience. Does that hold water for others' experiences?
Go to www.breastcanceraction.org, where they give you ALL the information you need to make a truly informed decision as to whether or not to get a mammogram.
The facts and the marketing are very different; and that goes for the efficacy of the various "treatments," and their outcomes, as well as "screening." It is vitally important to truly understand the difference between absolute and relative statistics, because these are spun in ways that are downright fraudulent.
Ultrasound is a useful option, but may be self-pay.
Breast cancer survivor of 12 yrs. here. Found my lump through self examination. Endured 6 courses of evil chemo and 6 wks. of radiation but.....I AM ALIVE!
The radiation has left my right breast extremely sensitive and I have to have comprehensive mammos every yr. I was so anxious about the procedure, the doctor was willing to give me a prescription drug for anxiety to take before the mammo since I had had previously painful experiences. DD sized girls here.
The radiology tech who does the mammo can make a HUGE difference in your comfort level during the procedure. I am very lucky in that the tech I have been seeing since my cancer is WONDERFUL! If the pressure plate is lowered in slow increments, it is 1000 times less painful than if the procedure is done in a hurry. The difference is amazing. Yes, it is still uncomfortable, but tolerable. Having a tech who truly cares about her patients makes all the difference in the world. She took the time to listen to my concerns and heard me.
Going through chemo and radiation is a bitch and there were times when I truly wished for death when I was sick and miserable from the treatments. I would do it all over again if I had to because I am NOT ready to check out of this life.
Dying of cancer is no picnic. I'm sure there are many of you who have lost loved ones to this horrible disease. My late husband battled cancer for 4 mths. before his death. He chose to fight even though his diagnosis was terminal. It was painful and debilatating for both of us.....him physically going through the battle and me mentally knowing there was nothing I could do to ease his pain but be there for him.
Talk to your doctor and your technicians. You don't have to be that miserable.