B.B. asks from Peotone, IL on July 29, 2008
Mammogram While Breastfeeding
I was just wondering if anyone out there had any experience with getting a mammogram while still nursing a toddler. I am 42, have been pregnant or nursing for the last 12 years of my life, and would not even have considered a mammogram until my youngest weaned except that my sister (38) just turned up with breast cancer. At my yearly checkup, I brought the situation up to my Dr., and he thought a mammogram would be best, given the situation. Anyway, I had the mammogram today, and all the radiologist said was that I have "dense breast tissue." So, anyone out there ever been in this situation?
So What Happened?™
Well, thank you all for your responses. It really helps to know other women have been in this situation...and thanks to the dense=young comment, kinda gave me a lift :o) And, it is nice to know that dense isn't bad. I actually went to the Riverside clinic in Bourbonnais....my Dr. didn't seem to have much of an opinion about the place, at least he said Riverside was fine, and it is close to home. Anyway, they seemed very competant, and use the newer digital scanning. I'm supposed to get results by the end of next week, so I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks so much again, and God Bless.
PS just got a call today, they are advising more films and an ultrasound, but after reading what happened to others that sounds pretty standard.....it is not like my sister, whom they literally sent right to a surgeon. Just a bit unnerving, is all. (nervously)lol.
M. answers from Chicago on August 02, 2008
My sister was told she has dense breast tissue, so a mammogram will not pick up anything, she has to have an ultrasound done in place of a mammogram. My sister is well endowed, so to speak and that is why she has dense tissue, it literally means she is large chested, my mother is the same way and they told her the same thing and she had an ultrasound done too.
P.G. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
Dense breasts I was told that also ,and I had to go in for a repeat. I t was very scarry for me being that I've allready had stomache cancer. They did another exam then an ultrasound.All came out fine but needless to say I still worry. Just remember keep up the mammograms yearly ,since you know that it is in your family. good luck
T.P. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
In my experience, most MD's will recommend an ultrasound of the breast when you are nursing. From my understanding, the mammogram is not as good at differentiating all of that dense tissue when breastfeeding.
Good luck to you!
J.A. answers from Rockford on July 30, 2008
I did extended nursing with my son, and I've had mamograms during breastfeeding. At that time, it was extremely difficult to find a lab that would DO the mamogram on me. They said they wanted to wait until I was done. The problem was, they found spots they were concerned about on the last mamo I had, just before I got pregnant. So my OB insisted that I have a mamo right away, and he called around to find a lab that would agree. They just weren't very familiar with breastfeeding at that time.
I checked at the time with LLL, and they said it was okay to have it, but I did pump for a while afterwards and dispose of the milk. I had a stockpile of pumped milk to work from in the freezer, during that time.
I've had to have regular mamograms since my late 20s. My sister had lumps, and my aunt had breast cancer, so I was considered high risk. They wanted one baseline mamo, and regular ones after that to keep things monitored. I also have dense tissue, and it has caused concern before, but the follow up mamo alleviated the concerns.
I'd recommend contacting the La Leche League. I would expect them to have the most current and up to date info on mamograms and breastfeeding, and what precautions to take.
S.X. answers from Chicago on July 29, 2008
my OB said NOT to get one cuz your breasts are dense and lumpy and can't see stuff. It concerned me cuz i had my first at 35 and had to get a surgical biopsy last yr... this yr was my first one after that but i'm also breast feeding. I don't think they can see through all that stuff. So dense just means like a dense forest, hard to see animals w/so many trees. Ya may have to go back after you stock BF. So using that term isn't alarming at all.
S.G. answers from Bloomington on July 30, 2008
I had a close friend have a mammogram while breastfeeding and the doctors even did a biopsy and had her headed toward breast cancer treatments. They had sent her report off to a specialist and failed to mention the mom was breastfeeding. Once my friend talked personally with the specialist and told her she was breastfeeding everything changed. The specialist changed her diagnosis completely and said she was fine.
A.M. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
I had the same issue and was told to pump and dump before the mammogram and it went fine. I went to northwestern.
A. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
I am sorry to hear about your sister. I hope she responds well to treatment. As far as your mammogram goes, you should request another test a few months after your youngest has weaned. If you are very concerned due to your sister's diagnosis at an early age you can get a genetic test (BRCA-1?) to see if you are more likely to develop breast cancer.
I had my first mammogram at 34, a few months after weaning my son. I also have dense tissue and had a biopsy to examine a suspicious area. I have had 3 mammograms since and it has been fine. You have done the right thing in getting the mammogram. You should also speak to your OBGYN about the results. Make sure the radiology lab sends results to him/her.
M.Y. answers from Chicago on July 30, 2008
So are you still nursing and had a mammogram? They usually won't do a mammogram until you've been done nursing for 3 months (i.e., finished nursing in Jan - they'll do mammo in April). The problem is that they can't see everything accurately cause of the milk ducts, etc. But if you were all clear and that's what they told you, then you should be fine! Did you do it at Northwestern? They're the best...