Breast screening recall

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Hi there. I know being recalled after a routine screening (part of the pre-age 50 group being screened in our area) but I still feel incredibly anxious. The letter was written yesterday and so was waiting on the doorstep when I got in from work. At that time on a Friday all advice lines are closed and I'm left to wait over the weekend before I can talk to anyone. My husband is working abroad unti Sunday night so it's just me and my 10 year old son. I feel so alone. I had no concerns about my breasts and regularly self examined but I'm worried about problems deep within the breast that I can't detect. Any advice is welcome.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally. I know that waiting can be the hardest part so do whatever you can this weekend with your son to keep your mind off of the letter. Often you will receive those letters even in the case of something as simple as a fibroid cyst that had been detected.

    If you have had previous yearly mammograms and those were all clear, hopefully this is just something simple that can be rectified next week. If it does end up being something more significant, then at least it sounds like it would be caught very early. Try to stay positive and please keep us posted!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally. I know that waiting can be the hardest part so do whatever you can this weekend with your son to keep your mind off of the letter. Often you will receive those letters even in the case of something as simple as a fibroid cyst that had been detected.

    If you have had previous yearly mammograms and those were all clear, hopefully this is just something simple that can be rectified next week. If it does end up being something more significant, then at least it sounds like it would be caught very early. Try to stay positive and please keep us posted!

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    • Posted

      Cheers Gatorgirl. This is my first ever mammogram. I'm 49 and so part of the screening of 47+ in our area. If I ring up on Monday will they say the reason for the recall or will that only be discussed when I go to the appointment. I was surprised to be recalled as I genuinely had not detected any change. My Mum had a few lumps in her 50s and they were all benign cysts. Bless her she's 83 now and in the latter stages of Alzheimer's. However, she detected her own lumps. It's scary if you think there is something there you have no knowledge of.

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    • Posted

      Sally, I'm not sure where you are in the world, but I'm in the USA, so doctors here suggest you start getting mammograms anywhere from 40-45. I got my first at 40, so that's why I assumed you had already received some previously. If you don't have a medical history with your mom, grandmother, siblings etc., having breast cancer, it will most likely be what your mom had which is just a cyst, I hope! Prayers to you and your sweet mom.

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    • Posted

      Sally, I agree with Sandra in the fact that they most likely won't share the findings with you over the phone. I feel confident they will get you scheduled immediately as they know this is very stressful.

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    • Posted

      Sadly, Gatorgirl, in the U.K. Screening is only offered to 50-70 age bracket but some NHS regions are offering it to women from age 47 and post 70 too. It is, however, a free National Health service so we have to be grateful for that. I did have a trainee do my scan so I'm praying it is a technical issue but I don't want to give myself a false sense of security.

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    • Posted

      Well, please try and enjoy your weekend with your son and not worry too much. I hope you get positive feedback when the doctor gets you in.
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  • Posted

    Hi Sally, unfortunately even if you had spoken to someone, no one can say it is or isn't cancer.

    The good thing is, if it is cancer it will have been picked up early if you have no symptoms.

    i too was recalled on a mammogram, unfortunately mine was breast cancer, but that was 6 years ago, and considering it had spread to most of my lymph nodes, I am doing really well. 

    I assume they have given you another appointment, hopefully it will be next week, they do try and fit us in early so we can get the results.  Of course it may not be cancer, I think I remember them saying when I had a call back, only 1 in 7 are found to have cancer.

    sally there is a helpline you can call, not sure of the hours, but if you google breast cancer care, there is a very good helpline. But as I say, until you have been checked again, no one can say yes or no. But they may be able to help with general questions. 

    They also have a forum, which is very good

    hope the waiting isn't too long for you. 

     

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    • Posted

      Do you know if the same standard letter is given to those who have something suspicious in their scan and those retesting due to a technical problem? I had mine done by a trainee but surely if they were saying you need a retest due to a technical problem they should say that and not give you the ambiguity that causes so much anxiety? Of course a technical problem means I'm back to square one - "unknown" but that is a lot less stressful than a weekend of wondering if something is seriously wrong. In this day and age why are they not capable of tailoring their communications more. I have no obvious signs even after re-examining myself again and again. 

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    • Posted

      Sally, I would say if the results were due to a technical problem which was caused by an inexperienced trainee, they may not know at this point that the trainee caused the problem. They just see something that doesn't look "normal" and have the "better to be safe than sorry" mentality. You would think they could tailor the letter if they knew for sure, (it would certainly be the more considerate thing to do) but who knows. I just hate that you're having to wait it out. ???

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    • Posted

      Sally I Would think a standard letter would be sent.

      sorry I can't see all your message, but you said a trainee technician, so I assume they told you that? But I doubt if a trainee would 'alone' read your mammogram.

      my friend was called back, seemingly her breast was 'folded' slightly in the mammogram, so perhaps the technician didn't fit the breast correctly in the machine.

      sadly not all cancer in the breast are 'feelable' lumps, hence the need for mammograms.

      when is your appointment, is it at the same place? If it is, I would feel less 'worried' as they usually send you to a special unit or one stop!

      Are you in the U.K.  

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    • Posted

      Yes, Sandra, I'm in the U.K. I am being seen on Tuesday. Just feels like I'm on my last weekend of bail before the jury returns to give their verdict. Situation worse as I have no adult shoulder to lean on. Hubby back 10pm tonight. At least having the entire weekend's domestic responsibilities all on myself, I have kept busy. That and watching my son play Rugby in the freezing cold and my usual trip to my mum who is now bed ridden with Alzheimer's. I had a full abdominal hysterectomy 2 years ago. Not cancer, benign fibroids but so large I had a 6 hour operation. My body now feels so good compared to then. I kept my ovaries though so feel good. I have everything crossed.

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    • Posted

      Hi Sandra. Had my recall appointment and yes some small cysts were showing in my right breast. I had another mammogram and an ultrasound scan. Happily the consultant concluded that there was nothing causing concern and that the cysts would probably disappear post menopause. They were being super cautious due to this being my first screening and first benchmark. This was a happy outcome but a very anxious wait. I hope this may reassure others and it shows the uk screening programme is being very thorough Andy we should be thankful for that. Thanks for all your reassurance. 
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    • Posted

      So very pleased for you Sally, the news couldn't be better. I hope it puts ladies who get a recall minds at rest, and yes 'caution' is always very assuring. 

      We in the UK are extremely lucky with our NHS. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer I can't thank  the NHS enough for all the treatment and support I have had.

      again I want to stress breast cancer doesn't always show as a lump! There maybe other symptoms, so any changes please get them checked. 

      Mine couldn't be felt and wasn't a lump, no symptoms, just shown on my mammogram, spread enough to be in most of my lymph nodes.

      mammograms appointments should never be missed. And I still have a friend who is too frightened to have one done! Very sad.

      You will be one happy relaxed lady this week Sally! X

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