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To think there is something wrong because my mum has had a mammogram recall.....?

(11 Posts)
snackattack Wed 10-Sep-08 10:48:19

My mum (67) had her 3 yearly mammo last week and got a call yesterday saying that she had to go back for another mammo as the image wasn't clear on the xray. The same thing happened to her the last time she had a mammogram and eventually she got the all clear. This time she specifically asked the radiographer whether the image was OK as she wanted to avoid this and she was told it's fine. However, she's now had a recall and has been given the same excuse again. AIBU in thinking that they are just saying this because they have seen something worrying and it's just a standard excuse to stop women panicking?? She is going at 4.30 today....she's been told "it's nothing to worrry about at the moment, just a fuzzy image which needs to be re-done"......sounds fishy to me.... so AIBU or am I right to be sceptical and hence rather concerned?

HonoriaGlossop Wed 10-Sep-08 11:01:18

My mum had exactly this recently. They even used the same words "nothing to worry about at the moment" which is a stupid way to put it. It's either nothing to worry about or it's not and the 'at the moment' thing is obviously just to cover themselves if the second image DOES show something.

However if they are saying it's because the image is fuzzy, then it will be because of that. Did your mum have it at one of those units in a van? I tihnk sometimes they have so many to get through that they DO hurry.

Anyway my mum had hers re-done at the hospital and the radiographer was able to show her where the previous image was not clear. She got the all clear.

So hopefully your mum will have the same. It is annoying though that they don't make sure they have a good enough image in the first place...causes so much angst.

snackattack Wed 10-Sep-08 11:27:21

Thanks Honoria... my poor mum is in bits - convinced of the worst... and it will take another 10 days for the next results, talk about making women suffer!! Obviously I realise these things happen and they are busy etc but can't help thinking they could handle these things better...

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 10-Sep-08 11:30:38

I have had this happen as well - what is most likely to have happened is that she has moved slightly whilst they were taking the image, so it isn't possible to read it clearly. So they can't say there is or isn't anything to worry about as they can't read the film properly.

I think they could have phrased it a bit more sensitively though!

HonoriaGlossop Wed 10-Sep-08 11:32:19

Hope your mum is ok snack. It's nerve wracking for you too of course. My mum actually had words with the hospital about how the letter was worded. It's so unecessary. If it is clearly a bad image which needs re-taking, leave it at that. Adding "at the moment......." is just cruel IMO.

cmotdibbler Wed 10-Sep-08 11:34:58

The thing with mammograms is that they are very difficult to take well, and you are looking for tiny, tiny things that are very subtle. A bit of hair, body cream, deodorant, just not being 'squashed' properly and evenly can make things unclear.

The radiographers can't see the images if they are on the screening units on the vans, so they have no opportunity to check things at all, and there are only a few specialist radiologists who can review the films at the base - they have to do them in very controlled light conditions and with magnifying glasses to see everything properly. So its not the radiographers fault at all - its certainly not like having your leg xrayed.

Its very common to be recalled because of unclear films from the screening program, so she certainly doesn't have anything to worry about. Some women have harder breasts to get good images from than others.

snackattack Wed 10-Sep-08 13:10:13

Thank you so much for your reassuring words....

scottishgran Wed 10-Sep-08 13:13:12

I have also to go back tomorrow becuse of a technical fault. I am not worried just annoyed as it is bloody sore having a mammogram done. Still better go, hopefully all will be well. A good excuse to have a cuppa with my ex-colleagues as I used to work at the hospitsl.

shergar Wed 10-Sep-08 13:43:00

I'm sure it's fine. If they'd actually seen something they'd be calling her back for a biopsy, not another mammogram.

Pixel Wed 10-Sep-08 16:29:51

I have regular mammograms and at my hospital we get sent back to the waiting room until the films have been checked in case they are unclear and need to be done again. Obviously it happens quite frequently because I've had to go in several times and have them done again. Shergar (so that's where you got to!) is right I'm sure because the time they did find something I was taken in for ultrasound scan and biopsy, not a repeat of the mammogram.

Pixel Wed 10-Sep-08 16:32:58

I think the 'at the moment' to cover themselves in case they say you are fine and then find they've missed something, rather than to stop panicking. I suppose nowadays they have to be careful not to commit themselves either way until they've had a chance to check properly with a clear film.

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