are mammograms more painful with fibro?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lynnkat, May 6, 2003.

  1. lynnkat

    lynnkat New Member

    I haven't had a mammogram since I was diagnosed with fibro and am wondering if the procedure will be much more painful now. Don't consider myself a sissy but have had some pains in my chest wall area and am concerned that this might be a problem. Guess I want to make sure that I won't scare someone if it really hurts like he** and I might say a few choice words during the "squash down" time. Has anyone had any problems with this??

    Appreciate any input on this delicate subject. Thanks, lynnkat
  2. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I have never had a mammogram without fibro.
    It doesn't hurt my breasts but it sure as heck hurts
    a lot when they take the skin between breast and arm.
    That must be what you are talking about. Yes, it hurts,
    but it is only for a short period of time. Maybe non fibro
    people hurt like that , too, for all I know! I find getting
    in the right position very hard as well. I have very
    bad back trouble and my neck isn't so good either,
    so the whole process is rather tricky! However, it isn't
    for a long time so it is bearable. You will do fine.

  3. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Anybody with fibro has a lower pain threshold, so a mammagram would be more painful. Some of bigger girls us are also more tender in that area, so it's a double whammy for us.

    Marilyn :)
  4. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    I had my very first mammogram just over a year ago, and it was not bad at all. I did just hear an item on the news today saying that MRIs detect mammary cancers much earlier than a mammogram. I could not tell you what channel, probably Fox or CNN. It might be worth checking out.
  5. ozgran

    ozgran New Member

    Am schedule to have my 2 year mammogram on the 19th. First time since my FM diagnosis. Think I had FM long before that but have much more pain to deal with since last one. Tho' there was some discomfort other times, I will be interested to note any difference. Love Ozgran.


    Just last August prior to knowing that I had Fibro, but had severe pain all over body pain, I had to undergo my annual mammogam. My breast were so swollen and painful to the point that I thought my nipple was going to pop off! :) At the time and Yes, it was VERY painful for me at least. I told the gal who was performing the test that my breasts where very tender and she told me that she would be very careful. But how can you be careful when you have your swollen breast squished beyond recognition. Mind you, I'm not a big breasted person, but in reality, it does not make a difference to that machine.

    If you are swollen when you go in for your mammogram, don't be surprised if they ask you to take it again 6 months later. I had to do that because they apparently saw something in the film. However, the 6 months mammogram was not so bad, cuz my breast were not so swollen as the first and the mammogram came back normal.

    Hope I did not scare you.....but just'll survive this just as I did.

    Lots of hugs,

  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    But I always tell them I have Fibro. It's much easier if they slowly squeeze the boobs instead of just going for it fast. A good technician will help with this. Mine do and I get mammos every year. It may be that they will have to be satisfied with a film where the boobs aren't squished quite as flat as they normally would.

    If you simply cannot stand the pain at all, ask the doc to get a scan instead. The ins. co. may have to OK this. Scans are often better at detecting cancer anyway.

    Love, Mikie
  8. lynnkat

    lynnkat New Member

    Once again thanks are in order to all the great people on this board! It really helps to know that someone can give advice and personal experiences on just about anything here. I feel much better about going in for the annual "smash" day! Isn't it amazing how the body will "snap" back into shape after one of these tests? I sure would hate to walk around with big flat pancakes on my chest if you know what I mean!! Thanks for the help and the hugs. lynnkat
  9. MemoryLane

    MemoryLane Member

    They know the art of administering pain. It's not really my breasts that hurt as much as the ribs and flesh they try to pinch off when they crank it down. When it's good and tight and they could make me sign a confession, they crank it down a couple more turns.

    I used to do mammograms and I was always very careful and took my time with positioning so I would not hurt people unneccessarily, sometimes they were already hurting so bad anyway. I even did a mammo on a man once!

    My advice - Don't tick anyone off at the center!

  10. ephemera

    ephemera New Member

    I just had my mammo 2 weeks ago. I timed it so the test was after my period & my breasts weren't so swollen & the nipples were screaming at the thought of walking into the women's center.

    I told the technician that I have fibro & she tried to be extra careful. The pain really only lasts for a few moments, then I realize I'm OK for another year & I'm able to walk away feeling good.

    Based on my experiences the annual gyn exam is infinitely more painful than anything my breasts feel. And the gyn takes less time with me than the breast technician. Anymore I don't try telling the gyn to be extra careful, that appeal goes in 1 ear & out the other.

    best thoughts to all.

  11. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    I think everyone has different thresholds of pain. I don't mind the exam - and it's definitely worth whatever pain you might go through to have peace of mind. Having a mammogram is very, very important and can save your life! Just grin and "bare" it!!!!

  12. LinnFam

    LinnFam New Member

    I am VERY large breasted and, well, to try and smash these puppies to 1/2" thickness has me seeing stars! After several of my husband's patients told me about thermography, I did some research and calling.
    A few years ago I had my first breast thermogram. It is absolutely 100% non invasive, painless & you are not exposed to any radiation. You also get the results at the time of visit. It is much more thorough than a mammogram and can detect vascular and other changes in the breast AND surrounding areas (Lymph) up to 5 years before a mammogram can. If there are suspicious indications, then, a mammogram is performed in conjunction.

    Just do a search on breast thermography. A bunch of us ladies go to Chula Vista, CA, about an hour from where I live. In fact, it's about time for me to schedule a Girl's Day out for this event. If you can't find info, let me know and I'll bring the phone #, etc. home and post it.

  13. KayL

    KayL New Member

    I've been getting annual mammograms for almost 10 years and at the very worst, it's just awkward and a bit uncomfortable for me. But maybe that's because I don't have that much to squish?!? LOL

  14. lynnkat

    lynnkat New Member

    Linnfam---the thermogram sounds like an improvement over the ole squash em flat method! I live in Kansas and am not sure if our hospital has this new method but I'm sure gonna check to see if it's available.

    I also want to thank everyone else for the info, words of support and chuckles and grins. Love this board and all the great people who take time from their own problems to help with another persons needs. CUDOS to all. :) lynnkat
  15. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    ...but then I have the world's smallest chest, not as much to squash!

    My Mom has breast cancer, so I've been getting mammograms yearly since age 32, I always figure the momentary discomfort is a small price to pay.....

    Hugs & good luck with it,
  16. starstella

    starstella New Member

    about my mammogram because i've have an increase in fibro pain in the last few months, and also have those painful lumps on the chest wall on the outside area of my breasts.
    the mammogram went fine, i worried for nothing.

    interestingly, the microcalcifications that i have in one breast have actually gotten smaller......hmmm....i wonder if the coQ10 that i've been taking for the past year has had anything to do with that.

    anyway, don't worry, you'll be fine.