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Do not skip this important "To Do"

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Old 10-01-2009, 12:02 PM   #1
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Default Do not skip this important "To Do"

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and serendipitously, this morning I got a followup exam from a mammo last week (turns out I have calcium deposits but there's not much cause for worry).

I have totally been stressing and kicking myself for the past several days since I got recalled for a followup mammo because I had skipped previous yearly mammos. We all hear that early detection is so important and I was afraid that if something was wrong, it might no longer be early.

And I felt very guilty, because if something happened to me, it would have a huge impact on my daughter (and a large but lesser impact on my husband). Not to mention that my job is the one that has health care benefits (and COBRA only lasts so long).

I skipped my yearly physicals bc I was heavier and embarrassed to see the doctor. And bc of that, the mammos kind of fell by the wayside. I know some other folks feel the same way about seeing the doctor, but please schedule your mammograms even if you don't have a yearly physical. And getting the physical isn't a bad idea either.

I would not have had such a stressful time of it if I had had regular mammograms. I would have had confidence that if anything was wrong, it was being caught early, and even in the worst case, I would not have had a burden of guilt, knowing that at least I had acted responsibly.

So, please don't repeat my mistake. If you are overdue for a mammogram, please schedule one today!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:12 PM   #2
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Also I'd say for those of us under 40, do your self breast exams and do your yearly physicals. I'm due for my yearly physical. I've been dreading it because I have to pick a new doctor. It is time though.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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As someone who is currently in treatment for metastic breast cancer. I would urge you to do your self exam and get your yearly mammos. I did and found my cancer much earlier than if I had ignored these important precautions,
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
Also I'd say for those of us under 40, do your self breast exams and do your yearly physicals. I'm due for my yearly physical. I've been dreading it because I have to pick a new doctor. It is time though.
I'd like to second the importance of self-exams. It's how I found my tumor. I was only 34, but because I did self-exams every month it was found early and removed. And if you find a lump, don't delay in seeing your doctor.

If you're like me and have already had issues, you need yearly mammograms even if you're younger than 40.
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:43 PM   #5
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As the brother of a woman that had both her breasts removed yesterday for cancer ...

I DEMAND YOU GET YOUR YEARLY EXAMS!!!

My sister hadn't had a mammogram in years.....
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:17 PM   #6
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EZ, I'm sorry to hear about your sister. I hope everything works out well for her. I am just lucky that I wasn't in her situation.

Bargoo and Dixie, I know how stressful it was for me just thinking it was a possibility. Thank goodness you both detected it early.

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I hope this thread inspires some women to do self-exams and schedule their mammograms!
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Old 10-01-2009, 08:14 PM   #7
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Gary - sending my best healing thoughts for you and your sister.


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Old 10-01-2009, 08:33 PM   #8
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Well wishes for your sister, Gary.

Get thy boobs checked, ladies! And if you don't have insurance, there are lots of programs that can help pay for breast exams and mammograms. A great resource is your local Planned Parenthood.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:17 PM   #9
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I got my base-line mammo at 35, like recommended. I thought the next recommendation was yearly mammos at 40. I'm 41 now. My new doctor said that now the experts are saying that a yearly mammo starting at 45 if fine if you have no risk factors. Have any of you heard that waiting till 45 for yearly exams is fine?
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:10 AM   #10
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Here's what I found:

The American Cancer Society recommends mammogram screening every year for all women age 40 and older. The National Cancer Institute and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend mammogram screening every 1-2 years for women age 40 and older.

From what I see doing some quick googles, there is some controversy over whether to recommend annual mammos for all women in their forties. Research shows that the mammograms reduce mortality for women in their forties, but at some "risk". But the main risks cited were unnecessary biopsies and anxiety from false positives.

So, I think the decision to get annual mammos for women in their early forties is viewed as a matter of personal choice.

I empathize with the anxiety from a false positive, but personally, I'd much rather go through that anxiety rather than discover a problem at a late stage. And personally, I am willing to have my insurance rate include the cost of unnecessary biopsies in order to decrease the mortality for women getting annual mammos in their forties.
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Old 10-02-2009, 08:42 AM   #11
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Heh, I was just coming with the link for the US Preventive Task Force recommendations: http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/3rduspstf...er/brcanrr.htm

There's a risk of false postivies, and the biopsies and anxiety that go along. Consider your personal risk: childbreaing & breastfeeding history, family history, etc. I won't be waiting until 45. Seen too much caught too late.
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:29 PM   #12
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Here's news for you I am in treatment for metastatic breast cancer (that means it has spread ) and I still get mammograms ,just had one last week , ordered by my oncologist. Ladies do your montlhly self exam and get your mammos !
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Old 10-02-2009, 02:52 PM   #13
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Gary I had no idea about your sister. I wish her all the best in her recovery.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:41 PM   #14
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You know what? Thank you for this. I've been putting off my first ever mammo (my mother has stage 4 non-genetic breast cancer) but this pushed me to phone and get an appointment. Thank you.
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Old 10-02-2009, 06:38 PM   #15
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My mother was just diagnosed last week with Lobular and ductal breast cancer. She will be going in this month for a double mastectomy. We will find out then if it has spread.

I have had two surgeries to remove fibroadenomas at the age of 20 and 21, I know I should do monthly exams and now, having my mother diagnosed has re confirmed this to me.

Hey, you could also have your other half help you with the exam...suggested by my dr years ago, sometimes it is the partner who finds the lump
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