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Recall - Breast Screening

(7 Posts)
pettikins Sat 13-Apr-13 12:50:30

Hi, I am sick in the stomach, have been recalled to Breast Screen Clinic, I rang the Breast Cancer nurse on letter, she rang me back in 10 mins after checking my file etc, she has said I have some changes from 3 years ago, overlapping etc but not no need to worry to much, I am so depressed, anyone got any big CALM pills???

Themobstersknife Sat 13-Apr-13 14:00:21

Sorry to hear this. When is your appointment? Hope you don't have to wait too long. From what the nurse said, they obviously just want to do some further investigations on the changes. Here's hoping they do a quick ultrasound and give you the all clear. I had a lump investigated several years ago. The waiting for appointments was awful so I don't really have advice about easing the worry! Good luck.

Earlybird Sat 13-Apr-13 14:49:16

I almost always get called back for a second screening - something to do with having 'dense' tissue.

I think it is not uncommon. Try not to worry - hopefully, it is them simply being cautious.

ItsYonliMe Sat 13-Apr-13 17:04:36

I've had so many queries on my mammograms that I'm (almost) quite used to it now. I think when you get a good clinic they are SO very very precise about results (good on them). I can't remember what the statistics are but it's something like 9 out of 10 recalls are completely fine.

When is your recall appt Pettikins?

Elizabeth52 Mon 15-Apr-13 05:47:24

Don't worry, call backs happen to lots of women, of course, that's easy to say, I saw some research recently that showed women experience anxiety for up to 3 years after getting the all clear after a false positive mammogram.
I don't have breast screening, an informed decision. I recently attended the Evidence Live Conference in Oxford and heard Peter Gotzsche speak from the Nordic Cochrane Institute. His message was clear, breast screening is harmful and should be stopped. The Danes only offer screening to women in one region and so have the perfect control group. The results are concerning, screening has not reduced deaths from breast cancer in the screened women.
His other points, breast screening does not save breasts, you reduce your risk of a breast cancer diagnosis by one-third if you DON'T screen, about 50% of screen detected cancers are over-diagnosed and the fall in the death rate is about better treatments, not screening. Professor Michael Baum, UK breast cancer surgeon, published an article recently in the BMJ, any benefit of screening is almost certainly wiped out by women dying from lung cancer and heart attacks as a result of radiotherapy and chemo therapy.
So I'd urge every woman to read the summary of all of the evidence that you'll find at the NCI website, it's a rare, unbiased summary and make up your own might also, choose to pass on breast screening.
I'd link the articles etc, but I'm not sure whether that's permitted, if it is, I'll do some linking for you.
Be careful, I'd never rely on information provided by screening authorities, they are chasing govt-set targets and most of the "information" they provide is carefully worded to present screening in the best possible light, not to put women "off" screening and jeopardize targets. I think this is unethical and terribly unfair to women, we have a right to all of the information and to make our own informed decisions.
be very careful with our cervical screening program as well, one of the most excessive in the world....and that's why we have HUGE over-treatment/excess biopsy rates. The only women who should be offered pap tests are the roughly 5% who are HPV+ and aged 30 to 60 and you can self-test for HPV with the Dutch invented Delphi Screener. (it can be ordered online) Most women are HPV- and not at risk, they could simply re-test for HPV in 5 or 10 years time (depending on age) to guard against a new infection.
Women HPV- and no longer sexually active might choose to forget all further testing. Women here are still being told they "should" have 26 pap tests, this is serious over-screening which provides no additional benefit, it just sends risk way UP...IMO, it's bad medicine.
The Dutch are scrapping their 6-7 pap test program, 5 yearly from 30 to 60 and will introduce 5 hrHPV primary tests at ages 30,35,40,50 and 60 and only offer a 5 yearly pap test to the roughly 5% who test HPV+...or women can self-test for HPV. This will save more lives and spare huge numbers of women from a lifetime of unnecessary pap tests and the high risk of potentially harmful over-treatment/excess biopsies. (which can damage the cervix and lead to premature babies, c-sections, miscarriages etc)
Needless to say, I have always declined to take part in the Australian program.

smee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:35:49

Hmm, beg to differ Elizabeth. I've had BC and if I'd had a mammogram earlier would have had to have far less invasive treatment. If I hadn't gone at all, I'd be dead or v.close to it by now. It's maddening to hear people advocate no screening when you've been through it like I have. Yes there may be false negatives, but if you're one of the
unlucky one's it's far better to find out than die (obviously!).

Also, just how can a cervical smear increase your risk 'way up'?!

OP, the thing to remember is BC these days is very treatable, more so if you find it early. Of course it's scary, but even if they have found something which needs treating, chances are you'll be fine. The NHS is brilliant for breasts - I honestly believe they saved my life and the treatment was first rate. Any questions, nip onto the Tamoxifen thread. Lots of us on there know the system backwards. smile

Thymeout Mon 15-Apr-13 15:34:49

I agree with Smee. I have two friends whose b.c. was picked up on routine mammograms. Both doing well.

I've had a recall myself. My original mammogram was done on an analogue machine at a mobile screening centre -like a WW2 ambulance -and the nurse warned me at the time that the hospital clinic had superior equipment and not to panic if I was recalled. I have always had a lot of small cysts.

I spent an afternoon at a big teaching hospital and was told at the beginning that I would have a diagnosis before I left. 2nd mammogram on digital machine, then ultrasound. I could see a constellation of tiny cysts in a crescent shape on both breasts. One was v slightly bigger and glowing more brightly, which was why I was recalled. Fortunately, the doctor was quite sure there was nothing to worry about. If she'd been in any doubt, I would have had a needle biopsy there and then.

Yes, it was worrying. But to my mind, it's better that some women go through a short period of anxiety than that others miss their cancer being picked up early.

Fingers crossed for you, Pettikins. Breast tissue does change with age and there's a good chance everything will be OK.

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