So frightened after mammogram

Dear all
I am sorry if this is not the right place to post this.

Yesterday I had my 3 year mammogram. I had worked myself up into a terrible state about it which wasnt helped when I saw it was the same woman who had carried out my first one in 2006 which resulted in BC. I took this as a bad sign.

The mammo went ok and she disappeared into another room to check if it had taken. When she returned she asked me quite curtly when my next appointment is and when I told her in 2 weeks she said thats when I get results. She added that if there was anything suspect however they would contact me before then - although not to worry, it may still turn out to be nothing sinister.

Now I am terrified, thinking that she saw something when she checked the films.

I feel awful writing this when I know what so many of you are going through but am so scared. I dread going home from work to find a letter on the mat. I can’t bear the thought of going through it all again and feel sick and panicky. I wish I was a different type of person who didnt get in this state.

Sorry to be such a wimp (again).

Best wishes, Laine

Laine - I am sure absolutely nobody thinks you are a wimp. I am going through this for the first time and I can imagine it would be exactly the same, no matter how many times it rears its ugly head.

Try not to read anything into it. Easy to say, I know. I do exactly the same, but then I try and pigeon-hole it until the results day, then I go to pieces! Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

Ann xx

Hi Laine,
you are not a wimp I don’t think any of us like having a mammogram. Lets hope there is no letter and the news is good at your next appointment.
Love Debsxxx

Dear Laine

Really sorry to hear how frightened you’ve been made to feel. I’ve been exactly in same position as you and read into things when things were actually ok. These people shouldn’t say anything at all to make you think either way, it’s not their job and it so annoys me as it’s happened quite a few times now and I’ve been so panicked. Anyway let’s hope all is ok for you. Can you speak to somebody at the hospital about this - maybe your breast care nurse?
Sending you hugs
Ruby xx

Hi Laine
I am so sorry that this unneccesary comment was made. I had breast cancer in 2003 and am still terrifed when I have to have a mammogram,but the same thing is always said to me, if there are any problems they will contact me. When you have had breast cancer you are always much more sensitive to the slightest little comment.

Best wishes

dear laine,
try not to worry although it is easier said than done, everytime i have had a mammogram they have said exactly the same thing to me, i think they are trying to say that the pictures might not be good enough and they may need redone.
in saying that i always try and read between the lines and usually get it wrong.
when i had my last mammo they took loads of pictures and the radiographer kept coming back in asking for more, by the time she was finished i thought thats it they must have seen something, i was so sure then it turned out my breast was clear.
good luck with the results

Laine I do sympathise.This is exactly why I pay for all my followup mammos-just coming up to 3 years now.I pay about £160 and that includes appt with surgeon immediately afterwards.I get results within an hour and when there was a cyst last year it was aspirated immediately.It seems a small price to pay for peace of mind.I do know that I am lucky to be able to choose this option and don’t really see why,if results can be seen so soon,anyone should have to wait weeks.
Love Valx

Dear all

Thank you so much for your replies - I am so grateful to learn I am not the only one who feels like this.

Val - I have already decided that if this one turns out ok (which I can barely think about) then in future I am going to pay, as you so rightly say its a small price. From August I have been getting myself in a state and now have until the beginning of October to wait - unless of course bad news is on its way already. This is a big chunk of my life where I have felt frightened, sick and panicky every day. I am also scared that I am going to have a heart attack!! Surely it doesnt have to be like this - there can’t be that many women who come in for follow-up mammos that they cannot spend some extra time with them? When I was there on Tuesday the clinic was almost empty and I would gladly have waited around a couple of hours to get my results.

I have honestly tried to “move on” (although yes I am on this site every day!) but its all come back to me with horrible recognition of those emotions I felt 3 years ago. I cannot discuss this with family and friends as all have said - oh you will be fine.

Thank you so much for understanding.

Best wishes

Laine , I can sympathise with you entirely. I went for my first mammo after completing treatment yesterday , one year after being dx with BC .

I have had lymphoedema of the breast tissue since my axillary clearance in Oct 08 ( 1/13 nodes infected ), so mentioned this to her. She was wonderful , very kind and considerate…and very gentle.

She did my good breast first , took the plates to look at ,then my bad one , said she would get a colleague to check them all before I left . Then she came back and said she needed to do another one of my good breast again .

She didn’t say anything other than that…but as they did this last year when I ended up being dx with BC , I am now really worried. I have to wait up to 4 weeks for the results , which will come in a letter .

I am just hoping that they will let me know sooner…whatever the results. Will be thinking of you and hoping the news is good for both of us.

Hugs, Jill

Hi Gill

I think that I am more scared now than 3 years ago!

When I went last year, like you I was called back in to have them all done again. I freaked out but they tried to reassure me that it was because the first films hadnt taken and that proved to be the case. I wonder if she was perhaps too gentle? That sounds strange but maybe she didnt get a clear picture because of that.

I am due to get the results on 1st but am intending to ring before that to find out. I would have rung by now but I have a big wedding on Saturday and I dont want to let people down by being upset - the downside of that is I am suffering “postman purgatory” when I go home after work, waiting to see a dreaded letter on the mat telling me I need to see them sooner…

I rang up my local private hospital and they say that I can have my next mammo there where a senior radiologist will talk to me about what they have seen (gulp!) and soon after on the same day the consultant (same one as I see at my NHS hospital)will discuss results with me. Any further treatment if required will be NHS. This is currently £160 and is cheap at half the price if it means that next year I dont have to have weeks of worry and anxiety.

This always used to be my favourite time of year - not any more!

Love to you, Laine

Dear Laine

I really feel for you. Everybody has made really supportive comments. Perhaps mentioning one of my mammograms will help.

I already knew I had a lump. And nobody said anything to me apart form to say the pictures were ‘fine’ and they didn’t need to take any more! I think it is genuinely the case that some people’s breast tissue X-rays better than others and that different radiographers may just do things infintesimally differently that mean that something isn’t clear.

It could even be that they there is every sign everything is OK, but the quality of the mammogram just wasn’t good enough - sometimes they don’t put things very well. And because of your history they are perhaps being even more thorough.

I agree the waiting is horrible - I waited six weeks once. And it isn’t necessary - if a suitably trained doctor is there, they can tell you in 15 mins or so - the result doesn’t have to be given to you by a consultant - that’s due to the hierarchical nature of the NHS and nothing else. I now live in France and, with the exception of PET scans, you are given the results asap afterwards. The downside of this is that you then have an interval of a two or three days before you can talk to your consultant about them!

I do so hope it is good news for you and that the dreaded letter never arrives. And no, no, no, you are not a wimp - this disease is one of the most terrifying, if not the most terrifying, events in our lives. Be as scared as you want - we all know what it’s like.

Take care



When I went to see my oncologist for results after the 4-year mamogram, she told me I had to have it re-done, as they had spotted an ‘architectural distortion’. She said not to worry, probably just a glitch, but as they had said not to worry the first time round, it was just too much deja view and I was terrified. I also googled architectural distortion and it is a symptom of cancer.

However after the re-run they said no, its fine, just something to do with density of tissue, and I have another one since with nothing to report… so next time I will try not to assume the worst, although that’s easier said than done.

Hope it all goes ok with you


Hi to all
Got results yesterday - all clear, thank you so much for your best wishes and advice - you are the only people I can discuss this with.
It was a horrrible experience nevertheless. My apoointment was over an hour late, I was terrified and the only magazine was the OK funeral special on Jade Goody. When I got in to see the BC nurse she said “ooh, hasnt your hair grown back?”. Considering that I luckily didnt need chemo and my hair is in fact cut shorter than last year I was worried in case she had given me the wrong results…she was so rough doing the examination that I have bruising under my poor swollen breast and along the upper arm and still feel very shaky today. When I murmered that I was considering having this done privately in future she commented that it was only once a year and surely I could manage that?

Maybe they feel annoyed for letting me walk around for 3 weeks with a massive haematoma 3 years ago (“dont worry luvvie”)until it burst all over them - thank God it didnt happen when I was at home or I would have had heart failure…the resulting scarring, tissue damage, oedema and fibrosis are the legacy from that and rads on an open wound.

When I saw the onc in June my appt was 4pm. By 5.20 I was there alone, the lights had dimmed, reception staff gone and the cleaners were starting. He looked at my breast, grimaced and told me to come back in a year. I was there less than 5 mins. All this makes me wonder if its worth it.

So sorry to be moaning again - I should be so grateful for the result, and I am, but I feel as though I am a nuisance to them and already cannot bear the thought of doing it next year.

Love to all, especially those waiting for results


Hi Laine

First of all, let me say how pleased I am that your mammogram results were so good. It must be such a relief for you.

I think you should go private for your mammogram and check-up next year. Neither your bcn nor your onc are doing your morale any good. Your hospital must have looked long and hard to find staff for such sensitive positions who are so lacking in people skills. You are obviously a nuisance to them Laine, as you say. And you deserve better than that.

I read an article a little while ago (and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t keep it) about how much difference a good ‘bedside manner’ can make to a patient. Not in terms of outcome, but in self-confidence, self-esteem, peace of mind and a feeling that you are being well looked after by someone who really ‘cares’ for their patients (as opposed to just ‘treating’ people). In short, it has a huge effect on quality of life.

Yes, see someone else next year. That’s not ‘care’ you are receiving at the moment.

Look after yourself - and congrats again about the good results.



Hi, sorry to but in but i totally agree with what you just said about bedside manner. I lost so much confidence in both the medical team and in myself after the consultation with the surgeon that misdiagnosed my cancer. i know part of this would have been down to being misdiagnosed but also partly down to his bedside manner. He didnt look me in the eye, he was very cold and clinical. My oncology consultant is lovely, and really gives the impression he cares about his patients and i think that makes a huge difference. it goes a long way.