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Mammography uses X-ray images to detect abnormal growths or changes in the breast tissue. It may also be performed on healthy, normal breasts to provide a baseline reference for later comparison

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      10.05.2010 14:05
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      A life saver

      I have regular Mammograms as I had breast cancer at the age of 29 years old and I fought it on and off for 6 years, I went into remission finally after that time and recovered and my mammograms save my life in my opinion and I am now 50 years old and lived to see my children grow up and see my beautiful grandson.

      They are offered to any woman aged 50 years old until they are 64 and it is a must to go when they call you to go and have it done in a clinic or hospital.

      It does not hurt, but sometimes it can be just a little uncomfortable when they place the breast onto the machine and you have to hold it there until they done the screening, which only takes a couple of seconds, although it does tend to feel more than that amount of time.

      It can be a little embarrassing if you are as young as I was the first time I had this done, but the embarrassment soon goes away because it is usually a woman that does it for you.

      The results are then sent to your GP and if all is well, that is it until another 3 years.

      I have to have one every year but that is only because I had previous problems and they want to make sure I am clear of any cancer cells that may be present.

      It is always an absolute must to check the breasts once a month, after a period to see if any lumps or strange dents on the breast and to look into a mirror to get used to how they look also and you soon get to know how they are if you do it all the time and it only takes a few minutes of your time and can be well worth it to save your life if anything appears strange to how it did look previously.

      A mammogram machine is quite large and has a plate that the breast sits onto and it takes photographs of the breast and detects if all is fine or not.

      It may be that you are afraid to have the results when you first are invited to go for one but I can assure you there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of as it is a life saver for most of us.

      I know of a few women that will not go and have one done, when invited but that is their choice, as we all can make our own choices in life and most of the women who do not go, are only afraid of the results usually but I just think if they do not go the problem would still be there no matter if they had one or not and so if they did go they could be treated so much quicker and recover much faster and easier.

      I recommend anyone to have a mammogram as it is totally free and can save your life and I would probably not be here today if I had not had mine on a regular basis, especially my first one, so please do not be afraid to have one and my advice is have one if offered and if you have any problems you are uncertain about, go check it out with your GP and sort it quickly.

      I give it 5 stars and a must for all women.

      Thank you for reading my review.

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        07.10.2009 17:24
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        Check and follow up. It's your life, it's up to you to make the most of it

        This is not your usual review; it's not about jam, or shower gel. Or even about a book. It's about the importance of checking your breasts regularly and following up on any changes. It's never going to be applicable to everyone, but it may just be applicable to you.

        A woman in the UK has a 1 in 9 chance of getting breast cancer at some time in her life, so it's obviously important to check for any changes. Say, once every month just check them and if you spot any changes such as a lump, a mass, any leaking from or change to the nipple and whilst you're there, you may as well check under your armpits too, in case there are any lumps lurking under there. It's not recommended that you do this check during your period, as breasts can change then anyway and have nothing to do with cancer.

        If, during one of your monthly checks, you find something that doesn't feel right, get yourself straight to your doctor, who will check you out and either reassure you or send you for further checks. If he/she reassures you, keep a careful check on yourself in the future as well. If he/she sends you for further checks, these are nothing to worry about and usually consist of the following:

        ~Mammogram~

        This is when the breast is put between two metal plates and x-rayed. It sounds painful but isn't as painful as it sounds. The radiographer will check for any abnormalities and they're usually quite accurate. Bear in mind though, that if you're a younger woman (up to about 50) the tissue is usually quite firm and a mammogram might not find anything. Women are only called for a routine mammogram from the age of 50, so you might have to push to be referred for one if you're younger. If you're still worried after the mammogram (or if the radiographer has found a potential concern) then push for the next level:

        ~Ultrasound~

        This is like the scan that you have when you're pregnant. The doctor will smear some jelly over the areas to be scanned, then pass a wand-type thing over the area. This, as you can imagine, doesn't hurt at all. If there's anything there, it will usually show up on this ultrasound, in which case you will probably go on to the next stage, which is:

        ~Needle Biopsy~

        This, I must be honest, is quite painful as it involves a needle being put into the affected area and 'clicked' to get some of the flesh out. The needle isn't the smallest. I called it the 'rusty biro', as it looks like the ink bit that's inside a Bic biro pen. You're given a local anaesthetic to numb the area, they push this needle in and then it 'clicks' to capture some of the cells inside the breast. These are then sent off to the lab for analysis. A long delay doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad news. If the results are inconclusive, then it's sometimes on to the next stage:

        ~Surgical biopsy~

        You're given a general anaesthetic so you're asleep and the surgeon will make a small cut in the breast (when possible, around the contours of the nipple, so it won't show when it's healed) and take out some of the flesh. This is again sent off to the lab and you will be called to come in for the results. Everyone is called in, so there's not necessarily any need to worry when you are. The operation is only a very minor one and you'll be out of the hospital the same day. It will hurt once the morphine wears off but not a massive amount.

        ~Results~

        I would recommend that anyone going for the results of any of these tests takes someone with them, as no matter how strong you think you are, they're upsetting. If the results are negative, then you know that the hospital has done everything possible to allay both your fears and theirs. If it's positive, then you need to get something done, which you will then discuss with your surgeon.

        The rest of this 'lecture' is going to form another review, which will appear in the next week, as I feel that I've gone on long enough. If it's something that you'd like to read, either keep an eye on my reviews or send me a message and I'll let you know when it's up.

        Anyway, I don't mean to be all sanctimonious, but checking your breasts is very important. I was lucky; I accidentally found a mass whilst I was in the shower and mentioned it to my boyfriend, who forced me to ring the doctor, which is why I'm still here today. I was 31 (it was 3 years ago) and not due for a mammogram for at least 19 years!). So make sure that you follow up on anything that you find strange and try not to be too scared - it might just save your life.

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          10.06.2009 09:34
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          It's free and could save your life so GO FOR IT!

          As soon as I was 50 I got my invite - come and have a mammogram - now there's something to look forward to! Just when I had finished with the indignity of smear tests they want to start on my boobs!

          Seriously I knew it was coming and intended to take advantage of the free service. Every woman in the UK between the ages of 50 and 64 is called for a free mammogram every three years and the intention is to extend this to the age of 70. I understand that between these ages breast cancer is more likely and also the breasts are easier to check in this way once a woman is post menopausal.

          I will just say that every woman should check her breasts regularly for any abnormalities and, if you find anything which worries you, go to you GP at once. As with most cancers these days, if it is caught early it can be cured.

          So what happens then?

          Well my first mammogram was at a mobile unit but my second one was at a purpose built unit at our local hospital.

          I received an appointment through the post - this was automatic, I didn't have to request it - and obviously I had the chance to change it if it was inconvenient.

          When I arrived for my appointment I was checked in and invited to wait in the waiting room.

          I was asked to go into a cubicle and strip to the waist - so wear a skirt or trousers rather than a dress to make it easier for you - and wear the dressing gown provided whilst I waited for my turn. The waiting room is pleasant, with comfortable seating and it is nice and warm which is nice when you are half undressed!

          I was then called into the examination room. The nurse there explained what would happen and told me what to do at each stage of the proceedings.

          I removed the dressing gown and had to stand against the machine which was to take the photographs of my breasts. It was then adjusted for height and my breast was placed on the x ray plate at a comfortable height. The nurse explained where she wanted me to place my arms so that the breast would be fully exposed to the x ray. This just meant putting my arm up on the top of the machine - again this was comfortable enough.

          The nurse then moved the upper plate down onto the top of my breast and this is pressed into place for the purposes of taking the x ray. Now I am quite well endowed and this is uncomfortable to the point of being painful, but it only lasts for a few seconds whilst the x ray is taken. Once the breast is released the pain disappears and it is all over.

          Each breast was x rayed twice from two different angles and I then had to put the dressing gown back on and wait in the waiting room until the x rays had been checked. This is only to make sure that the plates show the information clearly and no results are given at this stage.

          The second time I went I was called back into the room as one of the plates hadn't taken properly and that breast had to be x rayed again. What fun!

          Once the nurse is happy that the x rays are good enough you just have to get dressed and go home. That's all there is to it.

          The results arrive by post within three weeks and your GP will get a copy. If there is anything untoward you will be invited for further tests although this does NOT necessarily mean that you have breast cancer. It could be any number of things and even if it is cancer, the sooner it is caught the more chance there is of complete recovery.

          The level of radiation used in the testing is very low and the benefits far outweigh any risks that may be involved.

          So, in conclusion, I would say if it is a free test whether it is a mammogram, a smear test or anything else GO FOR IT. Yes, the mammogram is uncomfortable but the way I see it, if it saves my life I'll put up with a few seconds discomfort.

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            19.04.2008 19:42
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            The NHS breast-screening programme - take advantage!

            Any woman in the UK over the age of fifty is entitled to a free mammogram once every three years, and this is often carried out at a mobile screening unit in a car park, such as those at Asda supermarkets. The mobile units should mean that you do not have to travel far to take advantage of this opportunity; the potential problem is that there are a number of steps to climb, so a disabled woman would find it difficult.

            I was offered an appointment on 12th March in Havant, quite a journey from where I now live in Southsea, but this was because I used to live near Havant and the mobile unit was not due to be in the Southsea area again until 2010. The date of the proposed appointment was not convenient, so I cancelled it and rebooked for 7th April. I was given a choice of three dates and times, and also had the choice of travelling to the Royal Haslar Hospital in Gosport instead of Havant. For a disabled person, the hospital venue would at least have avoided the problem of steps, but I know Havant better than I do Gosport, so I booked my appointment at the mobile unit. It is worth bearing in mind that if you have to change your appointment date, you cannot book more than two weeks in advance.

            Monday 7th April came, and I walked from Havant station to the road where the map showed the mobile unit was situated. It was an industrial area full of car parks and I walked up and down, unable to find the one I was looking for. It got to 1.30pm, the time of my appointment, so I rang the number on the letter I had been sent and explained that I was lost. Some directions were given and I eventually found the right car park. At the entrance was a notice saying 'Breast Screening Unit', about A4 size - no wonder I had walked past it once. I reported to the radiographer at reception who abruptly said to me, 'You're fifteen minutes late!' When I replied that I had phoned she then said, 'Well, you phoned Haslar Hospital, and they haven't told us anything!' Fortunately the other radiographers present were more polite than that first one. I was told that they would try to fit me in if I could wait; apparently they are not obliged to see you if you are more than ten minutes late.

            One of the radiographers went through a few straightforward questions with me, including asking me to confirm my name, address and date of birth. It was only about ten minutes before I was taken through to a cubicle and asked to undress to my waist and put my coat round my shoulders until they were ready for me. That was only another two or three minutes, after which I was taken to the area where the screening takes place. Name and date of birth are confirmed again at that point, so there would be no confused identities. You then are asked to stand very still just in front of the equipment, placing one arm along a handle. One horizontal and one vertical mammogram is taken of each breast while it is pressed between two metal plates. I wouldn't say that this is a painful experience; more an uncomfortable one, but it is only for a few seconds each time. One slight problem was that I have long hair and had nothing with me to tie it back with. You do have to keep completely still, so you can't be pushing your hair out of the way with your free hand.

            The whole process was over in a few minutes. I was told that I would receive my results in about two weeks' time, and that if follow-up tests were required I would have to go to Haslar Hospital. Otherwise, I would be called for another routine mammogram in 2010 when the mobile unit will be in the Portsmouth area. I was at least glad to know that I wouldn't have to travel far next time. I got dressed and left, thankful that I had not had to wait long.

            I have no family history of cancer, so I was not concerned about the results of the screening. It was therefore a bit of a shock when, the following Saturday morning, a letter arrived to say that I was to go to Haslar Hospital on Friday 18th April for further tests. There was a reassuring tone, however, saying that one in fourteen women have to attend a second series of tests, most of whom are found to have normal breasts. I tried not to worry over the course of the next few days; I have a colleague who went through the same experience a couple of months ago, and it was reassuring to talk to her, as she was given the all clear. On the Friday morning, however, I was sitting eating half a pink grapefruit as I have high cholesterol and had been told that pink grapefruit is one of the best foods for reducing it. I suddenly remembered that last summer a report had come out showing that women who regularly eat pink grapefruit had a higher incidence of breast cancer. In trying to control my cholesterol, had I inadvertently given myself cancer? It was at that moment that I did start to worry.

            Getting to Haslar Hospital was not too bad a journey: a short trip on the Gosport ferry and then a pleasant enough walk past Haslar Marina. I arrived more than half an hour early for my appointment this time, and a very polite receptionist showed me to a waiting room. After a while a sister, not dressed in uniform, took me to a consulting room and explained that there were various reasons why I might have been called back. I might have a cyst, of some thickening of tissue, but not necessarily cancer. She told me that I would be given an ultrasound scan by a consultant first of all; if he was not happy with what he found, I might then need a biopsy. That sounded a little intimidating. The sister then accompanied me to a second waiting room.

            It wasn't long before I was called again by a nurse who took me to the consultant's room. He had my mammograms on display, and I was somewhat dismayed when he pointed to a dark area on the picture of my right breast. He explained that it was impossible to tell from the mammogram whether this area was solid or fluid, but that the ultrasound scan would soon reveal that. The nurse asked me to go behind a curtain, undress to my waist, and then lie down on the bed. Having done so, the consultant applied some gel to my right breast and carried out the ultrasound scan. Within a few seconds he was able to say, and to show me, that I merely had a cyst that was filled with fluid and was completely harmless. Needless to say, I was extremely relieved. He then said that the cyst could either be left alone or it could be drained; since it is harmless, I decided to leave it alone, and the consultant said he thought that was a sensible decision. I got dressed, and the nurse gave me a leaflet showing that I had had an ultrasound scan and that a cyst had been found. She said that I would be called for routine screening again at the appropriate time, but that if in the meantime I was worried at all, I should see my GP. I gave profuse thanks and was on my way. I don't like disturbing my sons at work, but I did ring one of them just to say that no sign of cancer had been found.

            I consider myself to be very lucky, and I know it is not the case for all women of course. But regular screening does at least provide an opportunity to discover problems in the early stages. I am impressed that I was given a second appointment so quickly. When I asked for time off work to attend the initial appointment, I was surprised that my employer said she had never attended breast screening. It isn't something to be afraid of: on the contrary, it just takes a little time and involves a little discomfort. If you are called for further tests, as you can see from my own experience, it is not necessarily a cause for grave concern other than in a minority of cases. I am thankful, but I might just cut down a little on my consumption of pink grapefruit after that scare!

            If you would like to help women in the USA have free mammograms, please visit http://www.thehungersite.com/ which has a link. Dooyoo is not allowing me to insert the complete link here because it is more than 80 characters long.

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              22.03.2006 20:51
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              Life, and seeing my grandchildren grow up

              Last year my sister and I were diagnosed with breast cancer, my sister had invasive and I had early ductal cancer in situ.
              My sister had to have chemo and I radiotherapy, its scary but not the end of the world, we are both here to tell the tale.
              After my sister was diagnosed I went to my Doc because I was 52 yrs old at the time and had'nt had a mammogram,
              I was told by my GP that I would be called for a mommogram when it was my turn, apparently you are called alphabetically.
              As you can imagine I was not happy as I had heard that breast cancer can run in families, he told me not to worry and try to put it in the back of my mind until I'm called he even told me on one occasion that he had forgot to put me forward for one I'm sure he thought I was being hysterical.
              Well it took me six months to get one and then I found I had it!!!!.
              We are both OK now and hopefully it won't come back.
              My advice to anyone who is worried about thier breasts to insist that urgent examination and investigations be carried out ASAP, PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN.
              If you are reading this then you may have concerns, don't panic write down everything your worried about so you don't forget when you see the doc, and ask for a second opinion if your not happy.
              If you feel your not getting the correct treatment go private, you can't put a price on life.
              Good luck

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                08.12.2002 18:16
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                Be breast aware and check regularly

                Breast Cancer
                ____________


                1 in 12 women in the UK develops breast cancer at some piont or another in there lives

                It is one of the most common forms of cancer in women today. Although it very rarely affects women under the age of 35, women of all ages should get to know the normal look and feel of their breasts. Nobody has the ability to know your breasts better than you. If you notice anything that worries you, you should see a doctor.

                Screening Saves Lives

                Breast screening (mammography) is an x-ray examination which can help to find small changes in the breast. If changes are caught early enough, there?s a good chance they can be successfully treated.

                The NHS offers a free breast-screening session to all women between the ages of 50 and 64, as long as they are registered with a GP. Older women can also have three-yearly screening if they ask for this.

                Be Breast Aware

                 Get to know your breasts and the natural changes that take place during your monthly cycle.
                 Look at your breasts while you are getting changed, or feel them while you are in the bath or shower.
                 Look for any changes, such as a lumps or thickening in the breast or armpit; any unusual pain or discharge from the nipple; unusual changes in the outline, shape or size of the breast; or any unusual sensation.
                 If you find a change that is unusual contact your GP as soon as possible. There may be many reasons for changes in the breast. Most of them are harmless, but all of them should be checked, as there is a small chance that they could be the first sign of breast cancer.

                Thorough investigation carried out by mammograms is gradually helping women in the UK beat breast cancer.

                For more detailed information on breast cancer, call the following helplines : Cancerbacup on 0808 800 1234. Cancerlink on 08088 080 000




                Research resources : NHS Health Promoti
                on England

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                  15.08.2002 19:01
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                  Recently I found out that 10% of women that have mammograms receive a false reading. My mother has had 3 mammograms over 2 years that have all came back clear, even the one she had last Monday came back clear, Dr, nurse and my mum could all feel the lump but it did NOT show on the mammogram so the Dr did an ultrasound where the lump was detected. Ultrasounds should be manditory, if you are due for a mammogram find out if an ultrasound will also be done if not then request it, no better yet demand it. Some Dr's wont even consider sending women who are under 40 for mammograms, its about time some laws and rules where changed Cancer can hit at any time, life begins at 40 not cancer.

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                    12.10.2001 18:00
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                    Breast Cancer While at work I received this email about Breast cancer. It was interesting. When the name comes up 'breast cancer' we all think that its got to do with problems in the cells inside us, but after reading this, it makes you think that it could be any chemicals that we use on our body. I challenge you all to re-think your every day use of a product that could ultimately lead to a terminal illness. The leading cause of breast cancer is the use of antiperspirant. What? A concentration of toxins leads to cell mutations: a.k.a. CANCER. Yes, ANTIPERSPIRANT. Most of the products out there are an antiperspirant/deodorant combination, so go home and check. Deodorant is fine, antiperspirant is not. Here's why: The human body has a few areas that it uses to purge toxins; behind the Knees, behind the ears, groin area, and armpits. The toxins are purged in the form of perspiration. Antiperspirant, as the name clearly indicates, prevents you from perspiring, thereby inhibiting the body from purging toxins from below the armpits. These toxins do not just magically disappear. Instead, the body deposits them in the lymph nodes below the arms since it cannot sweat them out. Nearly all breast cancer tumours occur in the upper outside quadrant of the breast area. This is precisely where the lymph nodes are located. Additionally, Men are less likely (but not completely exempt) to develop breast cancer prompted by antiperspirant usage because most of the antiperspirant product is caught in their hair and is not directly applied to the skin. Women who apply antiperspirant right after shaving increase the risk further because shaving causes almost imperceptible nicks in the skin which give the chemicals entrance into the body from the armpit area.

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