Seeking Another Good Doctor for Detecting Breast Cancer Mammogram Vs. MRI

Updated on June 26, 2009
C.C. asks from Spring, TX
3 answers

Hello moms! I have another question for another doctor but this one is for myself. I am worried that I may have breast cancer and have been to a doctor before and they've told me what to look for, and unfortunately I'm a little scared. I've heard that a mommogram can be counter productive and has caused cancer in women who didn't have it before they went for a mammogram. It was something related to the x-rays and the hard squeezing of the machine that actually caused the cells to rupture and the cancer to spread in some patients. I don't want that to happen to me if I do have cancer so I'd like to know the opinions of those of you who have been through this or know of anyone who have gone through this and what they did. Also, I've heard that an MRI is the more safer way to dectect cancer than a mammogram. Any experience or advice that you could share with me would also be very much appreciated.

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answers from Houston on


Please do not believe what you have heard. Mammograms are the best way to screen for breast cancer--they are scientifically proven to save lives. Mammograms give off very little radiation and the benefits FAR outweigh the risks of the test (You get more radiation flying in an airplane across the country).

What you need is a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound. MRI is very sensitive, but is reserved for special cases (like screening for high risk women or to determine how extensive cancer is in a patient who has been newly diagnosed with cancer.) One should never get an MRI without a mammogram first--the tests complement one another, but MRI is not perfect and does not replace the mammogram.

Signed: breast cancer doctor/sister of a breast cancer survivor.

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answers from Houston on

Please do not become complacent based on self examination as a way of finding breast cancer. I am a cancer survivor. In my case the doctor could see the cancer in the mammogram but could not feel it no matter what he did. Get checked with a mamogram and ultrasound.

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answers from Houston on

Mammograms causing cancer is a myth - and the person who started it should be ashamed of themselves.

In addition to you performing monthly self exams, and your doctor performing a manual exam during your annual well woman check, you should have an annual mammogram starting at age 40 - earlier if there is history of breast cancer in your family. You develop a baseline of what your breast looks like and any changes after that are reviewed and analyzed.

If you are not doing any of these things - you should begin immediately.

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