Family History is Concerning Me

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 6/27/2009 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm normally on the crohn's forum. I just want to get some advice. I was adopted and recently found my birth siblings. Also found out my birthmother had breast cancer and did undergo a mastectomy. Maybe about 12 years later she died of lung cancer, but she was a heavy smoker and drinker.

Last year I had my first mammogram, before knowing any of this history. The found microcalcifications and did a biopsy, which thankfully came back ok. Now I am overdue for another mammogram, and kind of scared to do it because my health insurance/financial situation is really bad right now. I fear that they will find something, and want further tests that I can't afford. I kind of feel like it's easier not to know than find out I need help that I can't afford, if that makes sense.

Besides getting a mammogram, is there anything else I should consider now that I know this family history? And is there any help for people who can't afford the follow up if something is found? I'm sure I don't really qualify for any state aid despite how bad my situation is right now.

I take some comfort is knowing my 3 half-sisters are older and none of them have breast cancer at this point. But is that a false comfort? How doomed am I having a mother with breast cancer?

Thanks for your help.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 6/28/2009 5:33 AM (GMT -7)   
My recomendation, GET THE MAMMOGRAM!! Call your doctor's office, explain what is going on with insurance and they will either help or refer you to someone who will. If all else fails, get with the Komen organization for a mammogram. (I paid for mine for 3 years  because my old insurance did not include my breast center in its coverage -- I live in South and it was only $196 for mammo,  $96 for doctor visit. I bet you could even make payments). You did not say if anything had changed since your last mammo. All this worry may be for nothing but trust me it is much less expensive treatment if it is caught earlier than later. I know. I did not have mammo for 3 years so my cancer was caught much later so I  had to have 2 rounds of chemo and then radiation.  Just because you are unable to pay does not mean that you can't get treatment.
Please, please call your doctor and start moving forward NOW. Some of the other ladies on this forum will respond with other ideas also.   Good luck and let us hear from you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/28/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Lots of people have a family history of breast cancer and never get it. Lots of people have microcalcifications and don't develop breast cancer. Have the mammogram done. If you don't have insurance and you don't have the money, check with the American Cancer Society or the Susan G. Komen foundation. They can tell you if there is somewhere you can go for a free or reduced cost mammogram based on your ability to pay. Cancer, caught early, is a lot less expensive than cancer caught after it has spread to other organs. Your peace of mind, not to mention your life and future health, are worth a lot more than the cost of a mammogram.

Take care, and let us know how that mammogram turns out!

"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 6/28/2009 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Most breast cancer is not genetic, only about 5% has a genetic link. So odds are in your favor there...but knowing your bio mom had it, you should not ignore the risks. You should consider checking with the local American Cancer Society and find out if there is a place where you can get screened for free or a reduced cost. Don't delay!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 1671
   Posted 6/28/2009 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone. My appointment is in a few weeks. I guess I will just take it one step at a time.
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