Hi everyone. I'm 31 and my ob/gyn is suggesting I get a mammogram because of a lump I found in my breast. He said it could be fibrocystic breasts or a tumor. Anyone that has had it, is it as bad as everyone says it is. Any advice would be appreciated.
Don't be afraid about having a mammogram. The level of discomfort really depends a lot upon the technician doing it.
The breast is positioned between two plastic plates which are then squeezed tightly around the breast. Yes, you'll notice it. But it only takes about 15-20 seconds to take the picture. Then the plates automatically release. I find that holding my breath for that long so that my breast doesn't move is more of a concern for me than the discomfort of the mammogram itself.
Also, it's probably not going to be cancer. But let me assure you that even on the rare chance it does turn out to be cancer, don't panic. You get it treated and then you go on with your life.
I discovered breast cancer in October of last year. I had a lumpectomy which required only a one night stay in the hospital. Then I had 12 weeks of chemo and 7 weeks of daily radiation treatment. Earlier I'd had oral cancer in 1991. Since 1991 I've finished two Masters degrees, and worked at various jobs. Cancer hasn't stopped me from living life. I've just had to work around it a bit, but I've gone on with my plans.
It's not a piece of cake to go through cancer treatment, but with the anti-nausea drugs used today, it's very definitely a tolerable thing. I was on a three week treatment cycle. The first 4 days I felt nauseous. For the rest of the first week, I felt tired. But I had two really excellent weeks out of every three week treatment cycle. The radiation treatments made me tired, but that was about the extent of the side effects for that.
Let me assure you that good and early treatment is quite effective. My mother also had breast cancer. The first time was in 1980. She had a follow-up tumor that formed in a lymph node along her collar bone in 1982.
Then she was cancer-free until 1997 when her other breast developed cancer. As far as we know she is cancer-free at this point. She's 85 and has lived a full and complete life.
The main thing is not to let worry hold you back from getting the diagnosis you need.