11 years ago my Mom lost her husband following a double lung transplant. The next three years she spent in depression and recovering from the loss and neglected her annual exams. On a trip overseas she discovered an egg size lump under her armpit. A mammogram found nothing suspicious when it was read "wet" immediately. The weekend passed and Monday they called and said the dry reading showed a highly suspicious abnormality and to come in for immediate biopsy. A fine needle aspiration was done and proved malignant. She had two lumpectomies and 16 nodes removed , 12 were malignant. 12 weeks of daily chemo followed by 6 weeks of radiation. I was 27 then and went to every appointment. Her journey was long and quite possibly PREVENTABLE AND UNNECESSARY. The agony she has put herself through, wishing she had taken better care of her health during that 3 year lapse will haunt her forever. She is now 8 years out from diagnosis and a healthy, very active woman. she was lucky. She was blessed. She was saved. There is absolutely ZERO family history of any kind of cancer in her family. It only starts with one. Do you want to be reckless, naive and foolish thinking you won't be that one? Or do you want to learn from countless women like my Mom and take charge of your body and your destiny? What if she had caught her cancer three years prior? Two years prior? One year prior? How much pain, stress, anxiety, guilt, anger, time and resources could have been spared? Think about it and act on it. Or roll the dice. I hope you choose the healthy path.
In September 2009, I had my annual mammogram. I was 47 with all previous mammograms normal; clear of anything, no family history of cancer. I had no symptoms of any kind. No lumps that I nor my doctors could feel. And yet, that mammogram came back with extensive microcalcifications that were completely new between the last mammogram and the one a year later in 2009. I had a biopsy, and found that there was extensive DCIS of the comedo type. This is a precancerous condition that is most likely to become cancer. I had a mastectomy. When my breast tissue was analyzed, a small tumor, 5mm in size was found. It was tested and had slow growing characteristics except for one thing - it had the Her2 gene, which makes cancer much more likely to grow quickly and spread. I took chemo and a year of Herceptin, a drug which blocks the action of the Her2 gene. I opted for a second mastectomy for prevention. I am now doing great, have hair back, enjoying life and not needing to wear a bra anymore, and am comfortable that I have done all that I can to not get breast cancer back.
What if I had chosen to skip my mammogram that year?
Many, many women who get breast cancer have no history and few risk factors. A mammogram is a quick, easy test to screen for this disease and catch it in its early stages, when it can be cured. For your sake and all those who love you, please don't skip the mammogram.
Part of the reason ovarian cancer is not regularly screened for is because there is not a reliable, easy, fairly reasonably priced, and mostly painless test available for it. Let's hope that researchers develop such a test soon and save even more lives. I am thinking of you and hope that you "waste your time" having annual mammograms that always come back negative.
True as you say you have had Mammograms 4 years apart BUT what if something had developed during the first year following your mammogram ..... it might have progressed to a stage where other organs were involved by the time you had your next Mammogram. Tests of this nature are recommended in order to catch cancer at the earliest stage of development when the cure rate is nearly 100%; it isn't recommended just to give the Radiologists something to do. The connection between Ovarian cancer and Breast Cancer might be due to some form of treatment but when Breast Cancer spreads it is to organs such as Brain, Bone,Lung,Liver, etc. ... NOT the ovaries. You might also remember that Breast Cancer can have little if no symptoms in the early stages. The risk is YOURS !! Regards ....