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AIBU to consider not attending mammogram appointment

(132 Posts)
SuperMoonIsKeepingMeUpToo Tue 22-Mar-16 08:20:43

Obviously if I decide not to attend I'll let them know but I'm interested in hearing opinions on this. I take my health seriously and normally attend everything going but this one I'm just not sure about as the accompanying leaflet informs me that:

'Screening saves about one life from breast cancer for every 200 women who are screened. This adds up to about 1300 lives saved from breast cancer'.

Great. But...

'About 3 in every 200 women screened every 3 years from the age of 50 to 70 are diagnosed with a cancer that would never have been found without screening and would never have become life-threatening. This adds up to about 4000 women each year in the UK who are offered treatment they did not need.

'Overall, for every 1 woman who has her life saved from breast cancer, about 3 women are diagnosed with a cancer that would never have become life-threatening. '

It is this risk of them finding and treating a cancer that would never become a problem I struggle with.

I'm 48 - our local authority is trialling extending the age range of women called for breast screening. No breast cancer in my family.

curren Tue 22-Mar-16 08:23:18


My aunt died of breaths cancer before she got to the screening age.

What if they find a cancer that would be a problem and that kills you?

Would you really rather that happened?

curren Tue 22-Mar-16 08:23:44

Breast cancer not breaths cancer.

Why don't I phones like the word breast?

Chippednailvarnish Tue 22-Mar-16 08:27:25


Just because you have a cancer doesn't mean you have to have treatment.
Just because a cancer isn't life threatening, doesn't mean it's symptomless.

doodlejump1980 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:28:00

YABVU Breast cancer took my grab, two much loved aunties (both under 45) and my darling Mum. I'm 36 and won't be offered screening for years yet despite the family history.
Enough said really. angry

doodlejump1980 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:28:29

Gran not grab

fusspot66 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:28:53

Just bloody go.
It's a privelege to be asked.
Most cancers are not hereditary.

Maudd Tue 22-Mar-16 08:29:18

Please do go. I was diagnosed aged 39. Initial biopsy results showed it was a type of cancer that "couldn't spread". After surgery they discovered a large part of the tumour was actually invasive cancer. I've heard this is quite common. I was surprised at the time, to find out that it's not just one disease, it's really complex.

Roussette Tue 22-Mar-16 08:29:40

So if it's not a life threatening cancer, you don't want it treated?

And how would you know in advance that any problem you may have is of the non life threatening sort as opposed to the life threatening sort?


Take any free screening that is offered.

cuntycowfacemonkey Tue 22-Mar-16 08:30:31

Your logo is flawed to me but it's your health your choice

Anniegetyourgun Tue 22-Mar-16 08:33:31

iPhones don't like the word "ill" either, or "hell". Occasionally they even object to "were". They're weird.

Look, the thing is, if they find a cancer they offer treatment you may not have needed. You don't have to take them up on that offer. If they find something they don't like the look of they don't knock you on the head and administer surgery while you're unconscious. You get to decide, from all the facts available, whether you want to go ahead. The likelihood of it being life-threatening is one of the factors to consider. Personally, if I get something that may be or may later become life-threatening, I'd have whatever it is whipped off or out ASAP, but that would be my choice.

If, on the other hand, there is something life-threatening there and you don't have a scan, well, that could be a bit nasty. Not knowing it's there isn't going to stop it doing its worst. Knowing it's there might.

Whatdoidohelp Tue 22-Mar-16 08:33:45

Yabu. We are very lucky to have these screenings for free. why on earth you would refuse it and risk them not finding a life threatening cancer. Ridiculous.

Twitterqueen Tue 22-Mar-16 08:34:41

Entirely up to you, but I think you're not just BU you're being bloody stupid. I've had enough friends suffer from cancer, including one whose mammogram picked up a very aggressive cancer located on the back of her ribcage, which meant no amount of checking her breasts would have picked it up.

ANYTHING that might possibly pick up a problem has got to be a good thing IMO.

fieldfare Tue 22-Mar-16 08:35:26

Go to the appt.

I've just been through a stressful time having a lump investigated that turned out to be benign. I was eternally grateful for the mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy they performed to tell me I'm actually ok.

I'll be there like a shot when they send me an appt for another mammogram. I love my life and my family too much to take any chances.

Tessticklesyourfancy Tue 22-Mar-16 08:36:13

I'm 48 and was invited to go for screening last year. A trial to screen younger women in my area too. I went and there was no problem. As for you BU, who knows? Only you can make that decision same as any other health choice you face, you've got to way up the pros and cons. I decided to go as I think early screening is a good idea, which reminds me I'm way over due a smear test blush

Sparklingbrook Tue 22-Mar-16 08:36:21

I had one as part of the trial of younger women too. I read all the stats and blurb and decided to go as if there was something I would want to know either way. If there was something then I would have felt lucky to have been chosen IYKWIM.

I would go if I were you but it's your decision obviously.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Tue 22-Mar-16 08:38:09

It's up to you, but I personally would do it.

Doodlejump have you asked about genetic screening (as opposed to testing)? My maternal grandmother had breast cancer and then my mum was diagnosed at the age of 36. I asked for a referral to my breast clinic for genetic counselling. I was deemed to have a raised risk, but not in the highest category. As a result, I have had yearly mammograms since the age of 34. I am now 49. With your family history I would think it's worth asking.

limitedperiodonly Tue 22-Mar-16 08:42:56

It is a problem and one I struggle with. I'm going for a mammogram next month. I hope that all will be clear but if they find something, the doctors will advise me as to the best course of treatment.

I know that my first instinct will be 'get that out of me', but I also know that maybe that won't be the best course of action. Treatment could have serious consequences for the rest of my health or self-image. Ultimately, the decision will be mine, and it's hard. Sometimes I envy my cat: I make all the choices for him and he's free to have a lovely life with no worry grin

You will hear lots of anecdotes about friends and family and 'if it saves one life...' I'm not mocking the people who will say that - though I will judge anyone who pops up to say you're stupid or selfish and why won't you think of the children.

It's just that those are emotional statements and you're looking for facts. You probably won't find them here. I'd advise you to go, and listen hard to your doctors if you get bad news.

That's what I'm going to do. Good luck. smile

londonrach Tue 22-Mar-16 08:43:34

Yabu! Go. My dm cancer was found this way and now 8 years later shes still ok. You lucky we live in a country where they do free screenings!

shinynewusername Tue 22-Mar-16 08:44:45

As a GP, I'd say that your concerns about over-treatment of potential breast cancers are very reasonable. We are becoming more and more aware that many early breast cancers (DCIS) do not become invasive cancers.

However, mammograms detect invasive cancers as well as DCIS. So I'd suggest that you go for your mammogram. If the mammogram detects DCIS, you can have an informed conversation with your breast surgeon about whether you want immediate treatment. There is a good explanation of DCIS here

scarlets Tue 22-Mar-16 08:46:54

You're overthinking this, I reckon.

shinynewusername Tue 22-Mar-16 08:47:32

PS - you are not BU at all to ask the question so ignore the PPs on here who tell you otherwise. They clearly don't know much about screening and its harms. You are being very sensible to ask questions - it is your body. Much better to take an informed decision.

mollie123 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:48:00

YABVU - I lost my sister to cancer at age 48 - so I take every opportunity from se;lf-examination to mammograms to keep an eyes on things.
The mammogram is free thanks to the NHS - and could sve your life
Just go shock

ivykaty44 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:49:25

Op if you don't want to have any treatment for cancer you may or may not have then don't go, there isn't any point.

hollinhurst84 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:49:52

YANBU to think/ask but my colleague had cancer picked up at one. No history, never found a lump. It's in her breast and shoulder

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