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Mammogram Injury

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Old 10-06-2007, 11:25 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: North Carolina
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beachroses HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

I was also injured in a mammagram, right after the radiologist told me, "Don't worry, it is perfectly safe." She made a mistake in the first picture, didn't go far enough back, so positioned me with my armpit over the thing and then clamped down on it. My movements have been severely restricted for two years, I can no longer do physical work in our construction company, I wake up every night in pain, and have difficulty doing simple household chores, it even hurts to type this.

The insurance company that required me to get that test to qualify moved the effective date up, after they found out I was hurt, so they wouldn't have to cover it. I didn't sue, because it's the only hospital within two hours distance and I am worried that if someone in my family needed emergency care, they wouldn't be treated properly. After the hospital found out what happened, they apologized and then billed me for it.

NO women's health awareness group has ever stated the risks involved, they hide it from women while telling them to get these tests every year, even if they are not at risk and I had no symptoms or family history. I never heard of hiding risks of medical tests from patients before, let alone lying about the safety of them. Something is really wrong with this picture and that comment about the lawyers is false, they can look at the mammogram pictures to prove your mother was not positioned properly. It is obvious in mine.

I am not encouraging anyone to go without a mammogram, but we have a right to know what's involved and make informed decisions based on our own risk factors and potential dangers of the tests. These are OUR bodies, not the government's, the insurance agencies', the self appointed spokespeople for our causes, or the people who make money off us. I think they believe they can just get away with it, because we are women and it's a scary disease, they don't do this to men.

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Old 10-07-2007, 11:03 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York
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cjammom HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

Hi beachroses,
so sorry that you have been injured by the mammo test..what you experience everyday with the pain sounds awful..I feel for you!
I wonder if the technician was properly trained..I think I would look into that.

I have been having mammos yearly since I was 32 and Im 48 now, never a problem for me..and my cancer was diagnosed that way..I never did feel any lump. So I am a strong advocate of annual testing.
I understand what you mean about being informed..I have had numerous surgeries over the past few years, and have only learned about the side effects after..and that is not fair! You are right!, we can make informed educated decisions for ourselves and we deserve all the information up front! There are things I would have liked to have known up front about my surgeries, recovery, treatment and medications!, before agreeing to any of it.
Hopefully more women, more people will demand more..I think we also need to not be afraid to ask more questions..I for one do not care how much a doctor or nurse is bothered by my questions, and I will wait for a full answer spoken in words that I understand!!

I wish you well!

Old 10-26-2007, 09:57 AM   #3
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willo1980 HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

Definitely make sure your mammo tech is trained and experienced. I always ask before ANY medical test or procedure how long they've been doing it and how many they average a day. When I went for my first mammo I asked these questions (the tech looked about my age - 27- so I was concerned she was new). She pointed to her diploma and said graduated in '98 and had been doing them there at that hospital since. She also took her time placing me. Don't let the tech be in a rush to move you out the door. Remember you are the CUSTOMER!

Old 10-26-2007, 02:41 PM   #4
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gilly033 HB User
Exclamation Re: Mammogram Injury

I'm sorry you were injured, I hadn't heard of that before.

Just a word on mammos... my breast lump was found upon physical examination by my doctor--not mammogram, and I have been having annual mammos for 10 years!

The radiologist who did my biopsy told me that mammograms miss 20-30% of lumps (cancer). Not good odds in my book. (They missed mine!) I was told to always self-examine--probably the most reliable diagnostic of all, which I never did.

Just a reminder to all of us who still have breasts.

Old 10-27-2007, 08:37 AM   #5
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Survivor 1957 HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

My lump was found by my annual mammogram, I would never of found it till it was very large. The lump was very deep and very small. So I am an advocate of the screening.

I do think it is a great idea to ask the tech how much experience they have in doing the test. I will from now on. I do not look forward to my next mammogram. I did have a lot of bruises and pain during the needle localization under the mammogram, and they did not warn me of how much pain and bruising there would be.

We women and some men are here to educate each other. Thank god we have each other to talk with ;-)


Old 11-26-2007, 10:51 AM   #6
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Re: Mammogram Injury

I am so sorry to hear you have been injured. I think it is horrible. I will say once you find the right technician that does the test stick with them. I ask for a specific gal and I was told she would be in today for my mammo, unfortunately she was out today. I had another technician who was horrible! She would get me in the machine and then say oh lets adjust the position again & again. Hello, do you know what you are doing and very slow to take the darn picture. The other girl whom I wanted never has a problem. My advice is tell them if you feel they are hurting, it is very hard for me, I am very small person and I feel like my ribs are being crushed which concerns me. Just stick with the technician who you are comfortable with is my advice. You have every right to ask for them, but they do take days off like mine did.

Old 11-27-2007, 12:32 PM   #7
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ellemae11 HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

In order to do Mammography the technologist must be a Registered Radiographer first. Then if she is also certified in Mammography she must have passed another written test in Mammography, do a certain number of Mammograms under the supervision of a Certified Mammography Technologist, do a minimum of 200 mammos a year and continue with continuing education in mammography with 15 credits every two years.
Having said that there are still some techs who are not good at mammography.
Interesting side note is that Mammography is the only radiographic procedure in all the US that require a Registered Technologists. There are states out there that have people off the streets doing
Cat scans and x-rays.

Old 12-04-2007, 06:06 AM   #8
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Monkey100 HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

I have just been for a follow up after a lump and was in intense pain for the mammogram. Both my breast have bright red marks and are still tender and sore - I really do not want to have this done again. I am in work and my breasts are burning with pain and I can hardly touch them.

Is this a normal reaction or something different?

Old 12-28-2007, 02:06 PM   #9
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Re: Mammogram Injury

I to had a very bad experience with my mammogram a couple of years ago; however, this was do to the fact that they were trying to get closer views on an area very close to the nipple. I ended up having no less than 15 pictures taken that day and had very sore breast for a couple days. I am not a real fan of mammograms; however, I think they do serve a purpose and they do sometimes catch early cancers; however, if you have any questions-do not except No for an answer.

Mammogram did not find the large mass that I could feel; my surgeon could not feel this mass and an U/S was negative for any mass; however, this mass was really there and I insisted that it be removed. I had to wait a month for surgery and low and behold my surgeon ended up doing a lumpectomy for this non existing lump and pathology came back as atypical ductal hyperplasia in three locations.
I will suggest to anyone, if you can feel it and it bothers you force them to listen to you and remove the darn thing. I now have annual mammos with annual MRI's. do to my family history and on my on pre-cancerous lump.

Last edited by shisslak; 12-28-2007 at 02:15 PM.

Old 12-29-2007, 05:10 AM   #10
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ellemae11 HB User
Re: Mammogram Injury

Anytime you are coming for additional views in mammography or a diagnostic mammogram the small area of concern is compressed. It causes more discomfort because there is less tissue to spread out the compression. It is especially uncomfortable when the area is near the nipple because of the reason stated. In order to get good magnificiation pictures (for calcifications) the breast MUST be compressed or the film is blurry and the way the calcifications show on the picture can dictate a biopsy or not.

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