In 2010 at the age of 42 I believed I was doing the right thing for going by a mammogram and that if I was unfortunate enough to have breast cancer it would be caught early. If you have read this blog you will know how wrong I was! I went to one of the local stationary sites for three years and as you may have already read got the "happy gram" report. In 2013 after a mammogram at another location, a well respected location on a main thoroughfare, my cancer was detected. How I wish I had gone there in 2010. The lady I spoke to there said their radiologists are very thorough. I told her I know that now and tell everybody I can to go to that site.
This afternoon I called the first site, the one I hold a lot of resentment towards. Thanks to a woman at the Breast Cancer Support Group I went to last night, I was motivated to get my records. That and the fact I have a biopsy for another mass in another location on Tuesday that was missed on a scan in Jan. 2014. It turns out my first location, in the Shaughnessy area, did not have a digital machine until 2012! This doesn't excuse how my cancer was missed but instead highlights the importance of money being put towards prevention, not just a cure. I have to phone records next Tuesday to see if I can get a copy of the x-rays/film on CD . At least I learned that they weren't digital until 2012. It doesn't excuse what happened to me but if cancer in dense breasted women is like looking for a snowball in a snowstorm, then lets at least have the medical folks looking for it on the best machines possible. I made an assumption and a stupid one in that I thought being who they are, they would have the latest and best equipment! . Man was I wrong! Wrong, wrong, wrong!
I then phoned the location I went to last year and they have been digital for three years. The lady there was wonderful and very kind and helpful. For a small fee ($25) which I feel is most reasonable I am getting my Jan. 23, 2012 screening mammogram, April 2, 2013 screening mammogram, and then the call-back diagnostic mammograms and ultrasound. She will phone me next week when the CD is ready. I don't recall going there in 2012 and believe that this mammogram was done at the first location after it became digital. Next Tuesday I am phoning records at the first location and attempting to get the 2010 and 2011 mammograms (old film ones) copied to CD. I certainly won't be able to read them but I think I would like to take them to a private radiologist to have them examined. If there were no warning signs,, then my cancer was incredibly aggressive to have got to stage III in a year. I have used the word 'exploded' and my surgeon called it "big and sneaky." It was diffuse and over 13cm of tissue when pathology examined it. My cancer was so aggressive that there was still active cancer in the breast they took! I am going to be looking for somebody who can help me look at the images and if there were issues that were missed, then I need to do some thinking.