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MAMMOGRAM experts- over here please.

(19 Posts)
BagWoman Wed 27-Mar-13 08:51:56

I am confused. I read on another site recently that mammos ( someone linked to a US site where a radiographer had written this ) do not pick up any lumps that are less than 3cms. That a whopping 1 inch .

I have mammos regularly ( am over 50) and pay for them privately ( long story but my dr suggests every 2 years due to being on HRT) . I don't mind the cost if it saves my life. BUT if a lump has to be an inch to be found, well what's the point?

I find this hard to believe and thought the whole point of mammos was to pick up small lumps which could not be felt, or other changes inthe ducts.

I do know the controversy about over diagnosis and DCIS which is another issue, and one I have discussed with my dr ( private).

smee Wed 27-Mar-13 13:39:52

Am no expert, but I'd imagine it means they can miss them. Mine was found and it was 1.6cm, though I did have a fair bit of DCIS too..

graciesmall09 Fri 29-Mar-13 12:07:01

No expert either but I had a mammogram after finding a lump and it showed cearly on mammogram. It was 1.7 cm.

BagWoman Sat 30-Mar-13 15:37:08

Thanks. There's a raging discussion on another forum where some women are saying they won't be going to mammos because they don't pick up lumps.
I suppose i can just about understand that if somone has very large fatty breasts they may not show up- but on cmall breasted women surely they would?

IamtheZombie Sat 30-Mar-13 15:48:58

Zombie's DCIS was picked up on a mammogram 20 years ago. It showed as granulated sugar size specks of micro-calcification. If that was clearly visible then she doesn't understand how palpable lumps wouldn't be. Given that she went on to develop aggressive cancer in the other breast 18 months ago, she doesn't believe that the lumpectomy to remove the DCIS was over-treatment.

BagWoman Sat 30-Mar-13 16:32:01

Thanks- sorry- are you Zombie or are you writing about someone else? Bit confused.

IamtheZombie Sat 30-Mar-13 17:24:37

Zombie speaks in the third person. But, I am Zombie and that is my experience.

BagWoman Sat 30-Mar-13 17:56:42

Ah_ I see. Thanks smile

graciesmall09 Sat 30-Mar-13 19:33:21

How are you zombie by the way? Hope your investigations went ok.

IamtheZombie Sat 30-Mar-13 20:12:47

Do you the colposcopy, gracie? They did a biopsy and the results were "reassuring" but I still need to have a LLETZ because of the severity of the dyskaryosis. I'll be booking the appointment on Tuesday to have that done ASAP.

charlottesmum5 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:19:10

I am having a mammogram next Monday due to finding a small (slightly larger than a grain of rice) lump near my nipple plus discomfort. Does that mean a mammo won't pick it up? Also can you direct me to some uk forums for breast problems because googling is just scaring me hmm

IamtheZombie Sun 31-Mar-13 13:25:12

charlottesmum5, stick with sites like MacMillan

MaryAnnSingleton Sun 31-Mar-13 19:48:05

agree that Macmillan site is good and also Breast Cancer Care, but stick to the facts rather than the forums which can be a bit scary. Ultra sound is used to confirm suspicious areas too. My cancer was 2.4 cms and seen on mammo.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 31-Mar-13 23:06:53

The mammo looks for calcification which the most aggressive types of cancer cause and can pick this up in very small amounts. However, there are different types of cancers and not all have changes that show up on mammo. Just because the lump doesn't show up on mammo doesn't mean they are going to leave it. I have a 5cm by 3cm lump that doesn't show up on mammo, doesn't look abnormal on ultrasound and two FNAs and 1 core biopsy have not found anything. However, the surgeon just doesn't like it so it is coming out. Mammo is just one of raft of methods used the check for and assess breast cancer.

skyofdiamonds Mon 01-Apr-13 00:54:31

I am a radiographer and can confirm that what you are saying is nonsense smile

It's late and I am on a day off after 7 days straight in ED so I will leave it at that for now but may come back and add more information if its wanted.

skyofdiamonds Mon 01-Apr-13 00:58:38

Lonecatiwthkitten sums up perfectly. calcification is what shows up on mammograms due to its high density- this stops the xrays penetrating and therefore shows as 'whiter' on the image. the image is an extremely good resolution and EXTREMELY small calcifications can be picked up, the borders of the lump can be seen and often reflect the type of tumour/lump it is. I could write all day about this...

jchocchip Mon 01-Apr-13 23:22:56

My lump didn't really show up on the mammogram, they said I had dense breast tissue. Once they had looked on the ultrasound - easily visible there, they could pick it out on the mammogram. Post menopausal the mammogram is supposed to be better at picking up lumps so I guess that is another reason for not doing them on younger women. Iit does worry me that the mammograms I'm having now will be as difficult to read as the first one...

thegreylady Mon 01-Apr-13 23:42:32

My lump was picked up on a mammo it was 2cm. It also picked up micro calcifications. I'd not be here now without a mammo. I never felt my lump and it was triple negative!

NedSchneebly Tue 02-Apr-13 21:27:00

I've got bigger boobs and mammo picked up 2.4cm lump.

HTH

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