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 Post subject: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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Location: Knoxville, TN
Well, we have a pap smear thread. How about starting one for breast screenings?

I am pretty young for all this, but I recently found an indentation in one of my breasts and saw my PCP today. He's making me a referral for a mammogram, but he said that when I get there they decide to do an ultrasound instead of/with that.

Please talk to me about getting a mammogram, and reassure me that it's not so terrible :(


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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:14 pm 
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Because Bob Barker Told Me To
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The x-ray itself is nothing. They do put your breasts in sort of a vise, so it squeezes a bit, and depending on how firm your breasts are, it will hurt a little. But I'd take it over menstrual cramps any day. They've called me back for ultrasounds 3 times, but only because the mammogram was inconclusive. So they might start out with that for you since it is more definitive.

It's unlikely you have cancer, but if you do, there are lots of resources available. I can put you in contact with a good friend of mine (also young and vegan) who has a great support group on Facebook. So good luck, and keep us informed.

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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I got the mammo and the ultra-sound combo, and was told that is because when you're young (ie under 50 and nulliparous) there is a higher risk of false positives bc you have denser breast tissue.

The ultrasound is nothing - its like having someone go over your boobs with a wand and rub them firmly.

I don't think mammos are nothing, but like many not so fun things, you can get through them by finding a good center - make sure you get a digital mammo rather than film as film is a lot less clear, esp with younger women. I had one mammo with a great nurse who explained everything and minimized my discomfort and another who didn't. Ask your friends for referrals :)

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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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it's really not that bad. sometimes the machine isn't placed at the correct height, and so you need to slouch weirdly, but the squishes really aren't all that uncomfortable. the ultrasound is more awkward because it's more intimate and gooey.

the first time i had a mammo, they put these weird band-aids with a BB on the tip of my nipple. the adhesive was really strong. they didn't do that for the next one.

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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:00 am 
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***LIES!!!***
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I had my first mammo at 29 (mother had breast cancer at 38, so they recommended I start early) and I did think it was fairly painful. How painful the squish will be depends on the density and size of your breasts, how well the machine is positioned, and the gentleness of the tech. Even though I found it painful, the pain was definitely not enough to put me off of having a mammo if it were warranted by a weird symptom in my breasts. Nobody recommended an ultrasound for me despite the fact that I was younger - use of u/s is not quite universal yet. From what I last read about it, it didn't sound like it made that much sense to use it unless there was indication from the mammogram that there was something that had to be looked into further.


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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:37 am 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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Location: Knoxville, TN
Thanks for responding, ladies! It's good to hear from people who've been through it. From what I can gather, it sounds like it will probably be uncomfortable but bearable (and certainly worth the pain in the long run). I've only told one of my real life friends I even saw a Dr. just because I don't want to freak anyone out unnecessarily. Even though I know it's pretty unlikely it is anything, I feel like it's important to be really proactive.


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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:00 am 
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i had one a few years ago as well after finding a lump. I agree with malka that it was pretty painful, but in the big scheme of things it's only a minute or two.
good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:49 am 
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WELFARIST!
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I had a lot of mammos this year. Ultrasounds, MRI, regular mammos, cone mammography (where they zero in on one spot and press extra hard to get the area extra flat), punch biopsy (mammo boob squish for a loooong time--but they give local anesthetic--and then get a little sample of your tissue) and then then I had to get a mammo as prep for a lumpectomy procedure which didn't go down, in the end, as whatever they found in my boob had self-resolved and there was nothing to remove anymore.

My boobs have been squished and palpated and pawed to all tarnation by the medical professionals this year and, you know, it's not that bad. It's like an uncomfortable pinch more than anything and I find they're very cognizant of your discomfort (i.e., at the maximal pinch when they're ready to take the x-ray, they run to the machine and quickly push the button and then ease up on the pressure so you can step away) and when I had to be in the mammography machine for a long duration (i.e., for the biopsy and preoperative prep) they gave me a local which took all the pain away. PLEASE don't let the discomfort dissuade you from undergoing your screenings. I've been in the tit trenches for real this year and it ain't that bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Breast Cancer Screenings
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Can't Dance, Isn't Part of Revolution
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Location: Knoxville, TN
seitanicverses wrote:
PLEASE don't let the discomfort dissuade you from undergoing your screenings. I've been in the tit trenches for real this year and it ain't that bad.


This is exactly what I needed to hear <3


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