CoR Mammogram Programme

CMP Testimonies: What some women said about the mammogram

MamoprocedureWe asked some patients undergoing a mammogram a few questions. These are what some said. These patients were participating in the Mammogram Subsidy Programme, which was part of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign 2001, jointly organised by the MMA Foundation Radiology Fund and the College of Radiology, October 2001. Full names are printed only with permission.

Mary T – 49 years old. (1st mammogram)

RM: How was it?

MT: “Painful”

RM: Could you describe this pain or how painful was it?

MT: Tolerable pain, very much within tolerable limits.

Soon Sew Hoon – 48 years old (2nd Mammogram)

RM: How was it?

SSH: No big deal! 

Julie S – 50 years old (2nd Mammogram)

RM: Since this is not your first time, how was it the first time you had a mammogram?

JS: I was frightened of this procedure because I had heard stories from my friends, how my breasts would be “sandwiched” but because age was catching up, I decided it was time to go through the mammogram.

I was surprised as I found it bearable!! 

Roobavathy – 42 years old (1st Mammogram)

RM: How did you hear of the mammogram?

R: A friend told me about this campaign and the subsidised mammogram programme. I went to the website, www.radiologymalaysia.org to register myself for this mammogram.

RM: What were your “feelings” before coming for this mammogram?

R: I thought it was some kind of scan, like a simple x-ray or it was some kind of physical examination with the hands.

RM: What happened when you were in the mammogram room?

R: I was surprised when I was told to take off my blouse and bra! I found the positioning of the breast rather difficult but not very uncomfortable. It was only for just a short time.

RM: After having undergone a mammogram, would you recommend this procedure to your friend if their doctor has advised them to get one done?

R: I would definitely tell her to go for the mammogram. It is very much easier than other cancer screening tests such as the Pap Smear! 

HCH – 44 years old (1st mammogram)

RM: How did you come to participate in this subsidy programme?

HCH: I read about it in the newspapers

RM: Were you “worried” about having a mammogram done?

HCH: I was told that the breasts would be pressed very hard and it would be painful. I was frightened of the procedure but felt I should have one done.

RM: How was the “real” experience?

HCH: It was ok. Uncomfortable but only for a short while. It was tolerable.

RM: Would you do it again if you had to?

HCH: YES!

TGL – 48 years (2nd mammogram)

RM: When was your first mammogram?

TGL: About 10 years ago!

RM: Why was there such a big gap between your previous and current mammogram

TGL: I didn’t really like the discomfort of the breast being “squashed”. It is somewhat painful during the procedure.

RM: Is the pain tolerable? Is it like childbirth?

TGL: Yes, the pain is tolerable and nothing compared to childbirth.

RM: Would you recommend it to others?

TGL: Yes, especially if they need one.

CKN – 53 years (2nd mammogram)

RM: How was the mammogram?

CKN: It is a tolerable type of pain.

LKY – 41 years (1st mammogram)

RM: How was the mammogram?

LKY: Very painful!

RM: How would you compare the pain to childbirth?

LKY: I wouldn’t know. I have never gone through it.

RM: Is it like having your finger slammed flat by a door or would it be like a cut?

LKY: No, not at all like these

RM: Is this pain tolerable?

LKY: Yes, it is tolerable because the pain is only for a very short while (when the breast is compressed).

 

Verdict?

There you have it, from those undergoing a mammogram. The procedure has been described as squashing the breast, sandwiching the breast and also being far easier to bear than the Pap Smear!!!

For those who describe the procedure as painful, all agreed that it was a tolerable or bearable because the breast was only compressed for a very short while. To one, the mammogram was described as NO Big Deal!

So if you do need one, and have been recommended to have one done by your doctor, do not hesitate. The mammogram is not as bad as have described it to be!

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