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Screening programme, a farce?

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

Lucky for me the ages for breast screening programme in New Zealand was lowered a couple of years ago so the screening is now free for women aged 45-69.

I just happened to be walking past the screening caravan that was near where I worked 2 years ago and realised I was eligible for the free mammogram so went in.

That first mammogram was fine but the follow-up one, 6 weeks ago, identified my tumour. I am symptom-free so goodness knows how long I might have gone before I developed symptoms.

If that caravan hadn't been there, or I was outside the age criteria I probably still would not have had a mammogram simply because I'm a bit slack like that and probably had a bit of the old "it'll never happen to me" syndrome.

I think 50 is a ridiculous lower age limit for mammograms. That is where ours used to be too - I am so glad they had the wisdom to lower the age (power of the people actually carried alot of weight in getting it changed!) or I'd still be blissfully unaware that I had a ticking time bomb in my breast. Thank you Breast Screening Aotearoa!

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

Jill it looks as if I lost daughter, but no it was a VERY good friend. It must have been the Morphine making muy post all wrong [everything I do that's wrong is someone elses's fault ]!
I suspect Clinical Genetics and a variety of otherwise should be useful institutions being staffed by overpaid jobsworths, dilly

Re: Screening programme, a farce?

just wondering hi everyone
have been reading this thread and wondered if each health authority has discretion as to policy. my aunt was diagnosed at 62 ish ,my mum was diagnosed later at 55. there are various others in the family also diagnosed with bc{about 5-7 altogether} but all were post menopausal .despite the post menopausal factor a year after my mum was diagnosed her surgeon at the time offered to remove both my breasts as a precuationary measure. i refused ,much to his chargrin ,as i had not had chidren and wished to breast feed,plus i made the assumption that it wouldn't happen till i was of a certain age, { i was 29 at the time}.i was checked every year after that by hand and was due to start having ultrasound end of last year at 35 . unfortunately the tumour beat them to it and was found by shear accident . as for the genetic side of things the test came back negative { it took them 5yrs!}after i was diagnosed. all my female cousins were also offered bi-lateral mastectomies , they have all had prophylactic total hystorectomies and oopheretomies due to the hormonal nature off the cancer . so far i'm the only woman of this generation of the family to be diagnosed and i'm the youngest one, and most of all i hope the last. i wondered how the surgeons up here could offer to perform these ops and yet elsewhere they appear not to be able to due to policy { i'm in the highlands by the way}. is it all based on the number of woman diagnosed and cancer type etc? i'm pretty ignorant of the NICE guidlines as you may have gathered.
nicci xx

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

Jill me first, daughter 4yrs later- very unexpected because I was 68 so we all thought mine was old age.
Nearly went insane with worry- have another d and 5 Gds, so off to clinical genetics- useless load of herberts in my opinion, who were sure it was not hereditary but did NO TESTS.
Have since had Gd with cyst in breast which super sensible surgeon removed and arranged for other D to have mammo. This had nasty signs - OK at moment but will be monitored.
I had to raise absolute Cain whilst weeping BUCKETS to get checks done because surgeon's hands were tied by nasty NICE but the minute he got the chance the blessed man went into action- how I love him for looking after my descendants, dilly

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

so sorry Dear Dilly,

Im so sorry to hear about your daughter...Can i ask which one of you was diagnosed first? Was it a genetic thing or just really bad luck? Where your diagnoses similar?

Many thanks Jill

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

I found my lump when l was 45yrs old so again was not eligble for screening for a few years.So many of the ladies l have met since diagnosis have been well below the screening age.As have no family history its scary to think l could have missed or ignored-went dr same day found and 5wks later had mastectomy-had grade 3 aggressive tumour.by time l got to screening age would have been dead-a scary thought. sharon

Re: Screening programme, a farce?

I'd just like to add that ultrasound doesn't always work for younger women either. I was 31 at dx and even though my tumour was 5-6cms, it didn't show up on the ultrasound, but was quite clear on the subsequent mammogram I had after the biopsy results came back positive.

NICE guidelines now suggest that high risk young women should be screened using MRI scans. But these have an increased number of false positives, so would have to be backed up with a biopsy if anything suspicious showed up. Biopsy is the only way to really know for sure.

As for older women being 'cast out in the cold', I really feel that it is a national scandal and would urge friends and family to discuss or even make appointments for screening for older relatives, as too many are simply unaware that they can and should continue to have mammograms, even though the letters have stopped arriving.

If only common sense could prevail!

Mel

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

Hiya,

Saw your thread and thought I'd let you know what happened to me and my family.

My mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40's. Then again in her 50's. After her second diagnosis I asked for my sister and I to be seen by the breast surgeon to see if we could get genetic screening. The breast surgeon felt it was unnecessary and suggested that we start having mammograms at the age of 40.

Unfortunately I was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 26. At the time of diagnosis the doctors were reluctant to carry out a mammogram as they are unreliable in younger women due to tissue density, however, following a worrying ultrasound I had a mammogram. Needless to say we have now been referred for genetic counselling.

Usually when there have been cases of BC in the family they usually suggest screening when you are 5 years younger than the person who was first diagnosed ie my mum was 45 so we were to start screening at 40.

Hope this helps.

Ju x

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

Is screening a myth? I think the fact that screening stops at 65/70 is discriminatory because older women are more likely to get breast cancer than younger women. But mammography screening doesn't necessarily help anyone, particularly younger women who are more likely to have dense breast tissue.

The breast cancer charities in the UK are much keener on screening than their US counterparts. Follow this link for an interesting read:


http://www.natlBreast Cancer Care.org/bin/index.asp?strid=560&depid=9&btnid=1

Jane

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

gingill my daughter and I were both 4 years out of screening ages -felt most upset by hers 4 yrs after I'd been diagnosed. It IS a disgrace and now I'd have been inside the newly extende age range but feel STRONGLY that they shold be doing a LOT more for younger ladies.
Plus I'm still outraged at the lumpectomy/mutilation which the obviously ghastly surgeons of Londonderry inflicted on her. She died 3 and a half years later- a lovely lady who was a victim of her lousey health care, best wishes, dilly

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Re: Screening programme, a farce?

Screening programme, a farce? I live in Northern Ireland, our breast cancer screening programme is currently 50 -65, i know in England in some places its 70... I was diagnosed with breast cancer Oct 06, had lumpectomy, chemo, and last radoitherapy today, starting Herceptin next week, also on Tamoxafen.....Yesyerday my mother of 66 was diagnosed with breast cancer, she and her friend requested a mammogram 5 weeks ago as a direct result of my diagnosis.....mum has 2 small areas, but no lump to be felt, so probaly mastectomy.. Her friends has also been recalled, but her appointment is next week.......

Id love to know the statiscs of the number of people diagnosed outside these age ranges, especially younger women..

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Screening programme, a farce?

Screening programme, a farce?