Well, I didn’t have a mammogram today.
I went to the imaging center this morning, put on a gown, and instead was escorted into a room with an ultrasound tech. This didn’t surprise me too much, because when my doctor discovered my last lump, I had an ultrasound prior to having my mammogram.
Only this time, instead of having a mammogram after the ultrasound, I was sent home. A doctor reviewed my ultrasound and said that, since I was so young and since he didn’t think the scan showed anything too serious, he wouldn’t do a mammogram.
Now most women would be ecstatic to not have their boobs squished, but not me. I told the tech that I had a history of breast lumps, that my last one was not recognizable on an ultrasound or even a mammogram, and that I have a family history of breast cancer.
Apparently, none of that mattered to them. So I got dressed, left, and called my mom. I told her I didn’t feel right about it, and she agreed. She was angry that they blatantly ignored my doctor’s order, and told me to call him. I did, and I explained to the office what happened. They are supposed to call me back and let me know the next step. I made it clear, though. I WANT the mammogram. That's what the doctor ordered; that's what I should get.
I know I don’t have breast cancer, but that doesn’t matter. They don’t have a right to ignore my doctor’s order. It's not their decision to make.
Why do we encourage young women to do self-exams if medical professionals aren’t going to follow up with any concerns? Young women CAN get breast cancer, and god help the 20-something-year-old woman who DOES have cancer and who gets turned away because she’s young. I can only hope that she’s as proactive as I am in her own healthcare.
Update: My doctor is giving me another order form for a mammogram. I also called the imaging center and gave them an earful, also making sure that they didn't bill my insurance for a mammogram. The last thing I need is an insurance fight in all of this. I think I am also going to write a letter to the facility. They need to know that what they did was wrong, and I don't want it to happen to other women.