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I don't mean to put a damper on the whole mammogram thing, but I want women to be aware that mammograms are not always enough. I had a "clean" mammogram May 31, 2007. On June 9,(9 days later), I ran the Casper, Wyoming marathon. The next day I am sitting in my office, feeling myself up, thinking "Everything hurts, even the boobs."....which they didn't actually, but the pectoralis muscle did. I felt a tiny lump the size of a green pea. We "watched" it for several months, and it did not go away, thankfully, as it turned out. When Huntsman Cancer Institute did their own computer enhanced mammogram, they couldn't see "anything"...NOT as in "no cancer", but as in "diddly squat" because I have such dense breasts. I got an ultrasound and MRI which revealed that THAT lump was nothing, but beneath it was a mass that had been growing for 5 or 6 years and had already spread to 10 lymph nodes! Stage 3C cancer...even WITH a mammogram every year for the past 20 years. If your breasts are dense, you need MRIs, NOT mammograms, especially if there is a history of breast cancer in your family. Mammograms are not the holy grail in breast cancer diagnosis. I'm sure not impressed with them! So far, I've had 5 surgeries, 16 weeks of chemo, 7.5 weeks of radiation, and I still have less than a 13% chance of surviving another 10 years. No thanks to mammograms. Ask, no cross-examine, your doctor to make sure you are getting the diagnostic tests you really need!
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