Mammograms Do Save Lives: Study

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Thu Nov 15, 2018 05:09 PM

On July 6th, I had my annual mammo.

The Radiologistnoticed a questionable spot on my right breast.

My mother and my sister both had BC, so I was a strong candidate . . . 
I always ask the mammo technician to
squeeze the plates as close together as possible.
It is a bit uncomfortable, but with dense breast tissue,
I prefer to tolerate a few seconds of discomfort, rather than miss a questionable mass, until the following year, when it has grown.
The follow-up mammogram with ultrasound dictated a biopsy on my right breast.
Biopsy results:  Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma (ILC)  about a 9mm mass.
The biopsy was followed up with an MRI.
After the Radiologist review, and since the mass was QUITE SMALL,
they determined I was an excellent candidate for CRYOABLATION,
performed  on Tue Oct 23rd, 2018.
None of the Physicians there has ever "talked down" to us, as I have experienced at other hospitals.
Every time we go there, I am amazed how caring and kind everyone is.
Especially since there are a lot of frightened patientsthere.(Not me!)
Similar treatment is given in the FROST Clinical Trial, for which I am NOT qualified, but my treatment used that protocol anyway. 
Just a matter of who pays the bills - Medicare in my case.

While it is not exactly good news, the good news is that I experienced
leading edge treatment, without surgery, without radiation and no chemo.
I have follow-up screening appointments for the next five years. 
October 23rd came and went.
That day, I entered the clinic with ILC Breast Cancer; a few hours later I left without it.
It was totally amazing !    No surgery, no radiation and no chemo !
There was no discomfort whatsoever, even days later.
After we left, we went to breakfast at a local pancake house.
The bottom line is it speaks volumes how very important
having those "painful" mammograms are ! 
Neither my gynecologist nor I could have palpitated a 9mm mass.
So it could have gown larger for another year.
It's only a very few seconds of discomfort.
But NOTHING like the discomfort of surgery, radiation and chemo !


Thu Nov 15, 2018 09:18 PM

Mammos are indeed very important. But, if you get a radiologist who says your mammo is negative and the ultrasound is, "probably benign," and "come back in 6 months, " as I did, in 2011, trust your gut anyway, and seek a breast surgeon for a biopsy. I still had to persuade my surgeon before he agreed to pursue it, because he trusted the radiologist (and I certainly didn't!). However, he did it and the path report came back Stage 2. Had I waited the recommended 6 months, as fast as that tumor came up, it would have likely been Stage 4, just about the same time they found Stage 4 RCC in my husband. He got shafted too because his radiologist misdiagnosed RCC mets to the liver as a, "fatty liver,"  a month before I found my lump. Worse was, we believed him. (The Mayo liver surgeon was not a happy camper when he saw my husband's films). We never allowed that radiologist to read my husband's films again, and finally just had all his imaging done at Mayo. With their help, he lived another 5 years.  So, I'd say, keep getting mammos, do at least monthly self exams (how I found mine) and also trust your intuition. The life you save might be your own! 

Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:14 AM

What about the mammogram paradox? The idea that "catching it early" can in fact be subjecting women to surgery, radiation, chemo, hormones when that early detection likely never would have metastisized?

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