I have to put in my two cents about this whole mammography thing. DONT CHANGE THE GUIDLINES!

I have to put in my two cents about this whole mammography thing. DONT CHANGE THE GUIDLINES!

These news reports are blowing my mind . I do understand the study was done on women over the age of 40, which I am not. The study showed two groups of women, one had mammos the other only manual exams. It found of the women in the group who had mammos 500 woman had deaths from bc vs the other group. 505 died who had manual exams. ( that is still 5 lives lost!! Someone’s mother, sister, friend).

Now my issue is I had a breast exam by my GYN in August 2010 and she found nothing. However I went 4 months later on December 10, 2010 for my first base line mammo since I had just turned 36. It was the mammography that found the lime size mass that I had in my right breast ,not my GYN and not by my self exams. What would have happened if I did not have the mammography? Would I have just been a static to? I feel that this information is giving women the wrong message.

The day I was diagnosed my radiologist showed me where it was, it didn’t feel like I thought. So with my sick sense of humor I let everyone except the janitor at my work feel the mass so they would know and learn what a mass feels like . To my surprise many woman also said it didn’t feel like they thought it would. I am convinced this new information will deter women from having mammographies. I know many women will look for any way to avoid a mammo. Truthfully I feel the base line age should be lowered to 30 and yearly mammos to 35. I know too many women in their mid 30’s that have breast cancer.

I understand we have better equipment to detect these tiny cancers. But for a woman like myself who had dense breasts the mammography saved my life. We want women to take care of themselves and one of these tools are mammographies AND self exams. Please don’t change the guidelines!! There will be women who are not lucky enough to find it on their own or have it missed by their physicians ( like myself). I mean really what is the point of all this wonderful technology that has been developed to find this deadly disease to now turn around and say no to use it? This is a slippery slope we should not venture down!



About chemobrainandmore

My name is Heather and I am now 39 yrs old living at the Jersey shore. I was diagnosed Jan 2011 with stage II A breast cancer right after my 36th birthday. Sadly I was married for just a year at the time.I had four rounds of chemo 33 round of radiation a lumpectonly and MANY ,MANY biopsies. As if that was not enough I ended up having a total hysterectomy summer of 2012. And then this past July 2013 I under went a bilateral mastectomy and I am still under going reconstruction. I am a mom, a wife and a survivor! I have had more ups and downs then I have fingers and toes! But through it all I have had a smile on my face and try to laugh my way through it all. I have done two Strides Walk for breast cancer and I am extremely proud of how much I have raised ( I made pacesetter status!) I enjoy laughing and making people laugh, and if my blog can shed some light on cancer and make one person laugh at ,or with me ,then the fight has been worth it. Thank you for reading about my life and taking a ride with me on this journey. Feel free to reach out to me, I love being able to pay it forward and help others!

7 responses »

  1. I was diagnosed at age 37 with Stage IIB breast cancer. I had gone to my doctor for my annual visit and even after examining my breasts she felt nothing of concern. As she was finishing up her exam she noticed a small indention on the side of my breast when I sat up. She almost missed it. She decided to send me for a mammogram just to make sure nothing was going on. I had two cancerous tumors (one was 2.4 cm and the other was 2.2 cm), and one positive lymph node. Not a single lump could be felt. It was very close to my chest wall. After my mastectomy my surgical oncologist said that within 6 months it would have been through my chest wall.
    The mammogram saved my life.

    • Amazing! I am so happy they found it!!! I think this new information is horrible in the fight to end BC. It just seems backwards to me. I hope you are doing well now. I have my reconstruction next week.

  2. I was diagnosed at 34, never had a mammogram and mass never showed on it. Only indication was a small lump which I happened to find which felt like an m&m under my skin. I ended up with double mastectomy and stage 3A. I agree ~ don’t change the guidelines.

  3. So true. I got a letter in the mail asking me to come in for my first free mammogram as I was 51 and hadn’t had one. I had three triple negative tumours in my left breast. Two weeks later that was four. My tumours doubled in size in three weeks! I am SO lucky that I was screened. My lumps were undetectable with manual examination and this type of cancer notoriously metastasises around the body and kills more women that other kinds of breast cancer. Without routine screening I would be dead by now.

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