Breast clinic - male radiographer?

(22 Posts)
mfwannabe Fri 11-Sep-20 17:24:51

I found a lump in my breast a couple of weeks ago and I have been referred to the breast clinic. My appointment is next week. I'm already spinning out a bit about it, obviously because of the lump itself and what it might mean but also because a) I can't take anyone with me because of Covid, b) my period is due the same day (it just always makes everything seem a bit worse and I'm worried it will make the procedures more painful) and c) I've been referred to the hospital where my DFIL died in appalling circumstances (I was really hoping to be referred to the specialist women's hospital nearby where I had an unrelated operation a few years ago and where both my babies were born).

Anyway, I'm trying to keep calm about all this going on and I'm now focusing on the worry that might see a male acquaintance of mine who works there as a radiographer. I don't mind him knowing I'm there but I really don't want there to be any chance that he could be involved in the mammogram/ultrasound! I've googled it but the only thing I could find was from 2017 when they were pushing for male radiographers to be able to carry out mammograms. Can anyone reassure me that there is no way that I might bump into him at the breast clinic?

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Spodge Fri 11-Sep-20 18:00:07

Can you not ring them to explain you know this man personally and want to make sure your appointment is not actually with him (make it clear you are not questioning his professionalism, just find it awkward as you know one another).

mfwannabe Fri 11-Sep-20 18:28:35

That's probably a good idea, I think anxiety must be clouding my common sense. I think I had convinced myself that it was a female only thing but now I keep thinking 'what if it is him? so I could do with getting it settled beforehand. Thanks

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KaleJuicer Fri 11-Sep-20 18:32:27

What @Spodge said. I was at hospital outpatients appt (pre-Covid) and the dr was one the female parents in my DS class. As I needed to get undressed she switched with one of the other consultants so there was no awkwardness as we knew each other.

Elphame Fri 11-Sep-20 20:25:45

I’ve had a male radiographer do some of my ultrasounds at the breast unit so it’s not impossible. I’m sure they’ll do their best though to get you seen by someone else though if you ask.

I’ve seen every consultant at my local unit multiple times except for the one I asked never to see again!

Footle Sat 12-Sep-20 19:45:00

Do male radiographers actually do mammograms? I'm happy with male gynaecologists but I would absolutely draw the line at having my breasts heaved into position by a bloke.

31133004Taff Sat 12-Sep-20 19:48:53


Do male radiographers actually do mammograms? I'm happy with male gynaecologists but I would absolutely draw the line at having my breasts heaved into position by a bloke.

Any more than your ankles spread eagle in stirrups whilst a speculum is intersected? 😳


safelysound Sat 12-Sep-20 20:07:37

I had a hospital appointment the other day (very intimate procedure) - when I walked in one of the nurses was a very good friend from a previous job that I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to strip off in front of. When they realised we knew each other they swapped her out for someone else - so I’d imagine they’ll do the same for you !

JacobReesMogadishu Sat 12-Sep-20 20:10:44

I always thought that mammographers were always female, that it’s a protected job which allows the discrimination. I’ve certainly seen job ads for this position which say female applications only, but admit that was a couple of years ago.

Flamingolingo Sat 12-Sep-20 20:11:36

I don’t imagine anyone who sees umpteen pairs of breasts a day is particularly interested in yours, but it might feel strange if you know him.

The breast consultant I see is a man, and the first time midway through the examination (mid fondle) he announced that he thought he knew my husband (unusual surname, similar line of work). And asked me to send his best wishes hmm

Footle Sat 12-Sep-20 20:16:10

Not sure how you intersect a speculum but I dare say it's phone-speak for insertion.
Yes, gynae stuff is different from standing face to face with someone stuffing ones bosom between two metal plates.

Footle Sat 12-Sep-20 20:17:54

I speak as someone who survived urology studies while discovering that the chap in charge had been at school with my son in law.

safelysound Sat 12-Sep-20 20:21:42


I speak as someone who survived urology studies while discovering that the chap in charge had been at school with my son in law.

You’re braver than me ! That’s what my appointment was this week and the minute I realised it was my friend - nope, not a chance did I want her placing a rectal probe in me !

mfwannabe Sat 12-Sep-20 20:27:22

Thanks for letting me know of your experiences of dealing with HCPs who you know - forewarned is forearmed and I know that if it is him that I can ask to swap with someone else (and to be honest I'm sure he would probably be much happier with that anyway!)

For some reason I feel the same as Footle - this feels almost more personal than a gynae exam. The GP I saw who referred me was male and it was okay but after watching videos of mammograms on YouTube to prepare myself I would much rather have it carried out by a woman.

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Oohmegooliebird Sat 12-Sep-20 21:18:44

You can ask for a female radiographer on arrival. No one will bat an eyelash.

VickySunshine Sat 12-Sep-20 21:24:19

Wouldn't bother me.

PanamaPattie Sat 12-Sep-20 21:37:12

It's a shame that women attending a breast clinic have the extra stress of not knowing whether or not the technician will be a male. I understand that the service employs people that are qualified to do the role but not everyone is comfortable with a male HCP.

SnowsInWater Sun 13-Sep-20 10:31:19

Any professional will offer to withdraw when they know someone so it shouldn't be an issue, good luck.

Redannie118 Mon 14-Sep-20 20:17:20

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in may and the radiographer who did my ultrasound was male and amazing. He showed me the screen, pointed out what the colours meant,what they look for etc. The ultrasound pretty much confirmed it was cancer and he broke the news and could not have been nicer or more reassuring.

Northernsoullover Mon 14-Sep-20 20:21:16

It wouldn't bother me but I'm not so short sighted that I don't appreciate that others would be bothered.

Bubbinsmakesthree Mon 14-Sep-20 20:26:38

I attended a breast clinic recently - the consultant and ultrasound technician were both male, the radiographer was female.

Both the mammogram and ultrasound were really fine - only mildly uncomfortable and in the circumstances the staff are so professional it doesn’t really feel ‘weird’ (Though I admit I wouldn’t be thrilled with it being someone I knew!)

Good luck with the appointment- I was a absolute nervous wreck ahead of mine, it’s a horrible wait x

mfwannabe Wed 16-Sep-20 14:36:36

Thanks for all the comments and to those who have wished me luck. I genuinely thought that it would be only female staff and I was posting more for reassurance that there was no way I would bump into him. I really don't know why I thought that! At least I now know that's not the case so it won't come as a surprise.

My appointment is tomorrow and I'm clinging on to the fact that it's probably going to be a cyst. The GP gave very little information - literally the only words he said were 'don't worry, it's very round, I'm going to refer you', he didn't ask if I had any questions or anything and I was so stunned that I just said 'oh okay' and scuttled out. He didn't even go back to his desk just stood by the door waiting to usher me out. It was only later that I realised I didn't even know where I was being referred to!

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