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It’s great to get patient stories and here’s one to encourage those of you who are anxious about going for your breast screen. Thanks to Jean Phillips for sharing this with us and telling us how kind the mammographer was.

Jean Phillips shares her breast screening story

Jean Phillips shares her breast screening story

I’ve recently been for a Mammogram at Nye Bevan House, Rochdale. It was a routine check, the kind that I’ve been having every 3 years since I was 50 (I’m now 65). I set off from home feeling really brave but after arriving and sitting in the waiting room for a while I could feel my anxiety rising. I got into a conversation with a couple of ladies and we were all of the same opinion. It’s horrible, it’s embarrassing,  it’s unpleasant, it hurts, it’s uncomfortable, it’s scary etc etc. My name was called along with another lady and we moved further up the corridor. I went in first and half jokingly said ” you’ll have to listen to me scream now”

In the screening room things couldn’t have been more different than what I’d imagined/remembered. The Mammographer was brilliant, she put me at my ease straightaway. She started talking about this and that and then started telling me how many young women didn’t turn up for their first appointments because of all the horror stories they’d heard! (Note to self, don’t exaggerate what it’s like, as it could stop someone else going to an appointment)
Mammographer is professional but calmThe Mammographer, Julie, just carried on talking. “Did you do anything nice at the weekend “, ” have you got anything nice planned for this week?” etc, etc. All the time she was getting on with her job in a very gentle, calm and professional way. The mammogram was soon done and I can honestly say it was the best experience I’d had. Yes it was a bit uncomfortable but not painful, no I didn’t actually enjoy it but there was nothing about it that was dreadful, I certainly won’t be worried next time.
So to women who have been invited to go for screening and are terrified of actually having a mammogram done, I would say, just go and have it done. It’s  a very short procedure and if a problem is detected you can have it dealt with early and hopefully avoid having very lengthy Cancer treatment, as I’m sure that situation will be more terrifying than a mammogram!
Jean Phillips, Rochdale

Sharing your story can mean so much to other women who are anxious about attending breast screening. If you’d like to share just contact Leslie Robinson who can turn your story into blog which will take pride of place on our WoMMeN hub!