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Mammogram Recall

(7 Posts)
DecisionTime17 Tue 07-Feb-17 12:32:41

I'm 44, with a strong family history of breast cancer. I've had yearly mammograms since I was 40, never been recalled before. Had my appointment last week, there was nothing unusual that was palpable, but yesterday a letter arrived with another appointment for a month from now, "to complete assessment of the breasts using further mammogram / ultrasound."

I am beside myself with anxiety. I'm the same age my mother was when she was diagnosed (she died three years later). I just posted here the other day about preventive mastectomy, which I had discussed with my consultant at the yearly visit, and now I'm afraid I'm going to be too late for that and they've found something.

I don't know how I'm going to get through the month. Not sure exactly what I'm looking for in posting, but if anyone else has been recalled and then reassured, or been recalled and caught something earlier than you otherwise should have, I think maybe reading those stories might help me settle my nerves and stop catastrophising. Thanks.

DecisionTime17 Tue 07-Feb-17 12:33:41

*would have

TheMysteriousJackelope Tue 07-Feb-17 12:41:57

I was recalled and it was a cyst. I didn't tell DH or the children either because I didn't want them worrying over possibly nothing so had to deal with it on my own. It was a hideous weekend. I am so sorry you have to wait so long for the follow up.

Can you contact the hospital and see if they have a cancellation list? This would be names of people who can come in at short notice if another patient cancels their appointment.

Sometimes they see something but it is hard to get a clear picture on a mammogram due to the location and they want to do an ultrasound as well.

Another time the doctor found a lump during my annual physical. They did a mammogram and ultrasound and couldn't really tell what it was. I then had a needle biopsy, and then surgery to remove the lump. It was a calcified cyst.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Tue 07-Feb-17 12:45:47

I also have a strong family history of breast cancer and have yearly mammograms. When I was about 40 I had a recall. My mum was 37 when she had breast cancer so I was really worried.

In my case, the mammogram was on the Tuesday and I got a phone call on the Friday asking me to come in the following Tuesday. I was told it was very important I attended. I was of course very worried, when I got there the nurse reassured me that most people who were recalled were fine.

The reason I was recalled was that there was a white patch on my mammogram which could potentially be cancer. The nurses were brilliant and explained everything. DS 1 and 2 were about 10 and 8 at the time so I was really worried.

I had an ultrasound straight away which showed no problems, it was just "one of those things". I've had yearly mammograms ever since and no issues. I might be wrong, but I doubt that if they were really worried about you, they wouldn't give you an appointment for a months time.

I have had recalls before after smear tests, because the sample wasn't good enough and they needed to redo it. And then one time I had a letter with an urgent appointment at the hospital (about 2 days later) . It turned out that the smear test had shown potentially pre cancerous cells. So they had me in very quickly when there was an issue. I had some treatment for it I think within 10 days of the original smear test.

I know it's difficult not to worry, but in my experience there's a much more rapid call back if there's a potential life-threatening issue identified. I hope it all turns out ok.

CiderwithBuda Tue 07-Feb-17 12:58:01

I'm 52 and was recalled last year. It was my first mammogram here in U.K. although I had had previous ones while living overseas.

I hadn't checked the post for a few days and opened the letter at around 9am to find my appointment was 10.15 that day! So no time to worry really.

Anyway. They had found something on my right breast and I had a further mammogram and a biopsy there and then. I was told it would need to be removed whatever it was. It was confirmed as DCIS - Ductal Carcinoma In Situ meaning it hadn't spread but it was classed as high grade and aggressive.

I had surgery to remove it and then ended up with a further surgery as they didn't get all of the safety margin. Both operations were Day surgery and there were no complications afterwards.

I also had three weeks of radiotherapy. No bad effects but felt a bit more tired than normal.

So I am very grateful for my mammogram obviously. And definitely feel that it was caught early enough to be dealt with quickly.

I do think that if there was anything major they would have called you back much more quickly. Is there a number on th letter you could phone? I think I would.

DecisionTime17 Tue 07-Feb-17 13:21:02

Thank you, reading your stories is really helpful flowers. I am not in the UK so not sure if the waiting time for the recall is reassuring or just a reflection of the health service here. I will ring about the cancellation list, thanks for that advice.

DecisionTime17 Tue 07-Feb-17 18:43:42

Jackelope thanks for the advice re cancellation list.

I did ring the number on the letter (thanks Cider) and spoke to a very nice woman in the breast imaging unit. She said she'd put me on the cancellation list. She looked up my patient number and said it was "just" a further screening recall (I'm hanging on to the way she said "just") and asked if my GP had been in touch (he hadn't).

When I got through to him he said the information from the clinic was that there's an area they want to have a closer look at. I asked whether that was because something in that area had raised a concern, or because the mammogram hadn't given a clear view of the area. He didn't know.

So, I'm back to my anxious wait, hoping to be called earlier if someone cancels. I don't know whether to be reassured by the breezy imaging clinic person, or worried by what the GP said. Or both, or neither. I guess there's no knowing until I know.

Thanks again to each of you... Anyone else have experiences?

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