Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thoughts on Mammograms Before IVF

I posted yesterday about my mammogram I got before IVF because my doctor made me.  I'm 32 with a mom who had breast cancer at 37.  So obviously I'm higher risk than most, and maybe my doctor wouldn't have made everyone go.  I'm not sure.  I do know that I would have put this off until after IVF if the doctor hadn't made me go.

Turns out Giuliana Rancic, who I find totally annoying, but one of the only celebrities really out there about her struggle with IVF, found her early stage breast cancer at 36 because the doctor
also ordered a mammogram before her IVF #3.  Wow.  That means IVF might have literally saved her life.

Now, I hope that this isn't my story and that I did waste my time getting a mammogram.  I hope I don't have a story like Giuliana's about how IVF was the only reason I caught my breast cancer.  But I REALLY hope I don't have a story where I am pregnant and THEN diagnosed with cancer, God forbid.  I hope no one has to face that.

And then there's this.  Some doctor on NBC saying that mammograms aren't necessary for 36 year olds and they aren't necessary for IVF.  Seriously?  Screw you, doctor on TV telling people not to get mammograms before pumping themselves full of hormones that are known to accelerate some kinds of breast cancer, and hopefully will result in pregnancy, a non-ideal state to treat cancer.

What exactly is the downside here???  It took 30 minutes, it was completely free on my insurance, but costs $55 + $50 radiology so $105 out of pocket if you pay upfront in cash (I asked, infertility has made me very attuned to weirdness in cash payments in the medical field).  So maybe I wasted a little cash and time because I probably don't have cancer.  IVF takes every waking moment and multiple hands in your vagina.  Having your boob placed on a shelf is nothing compared to a dildo cam three times a week.  IVF is literally tens of thousands of dollars, what difference is a piddly little $105 mammogram?    Shit, I have spent more just on parking at my RE.  You should waste 30 minutes and $105 too.  Just throw it in the air as taking as long as another scan and rip up those dollar bills costing 1/3 of a Follistim shot.  Why wouldn't you want to do this before IVF?


  1. I'm so glad you got the mammogram done (regardless of whatever the idiot doctor on TV said - what does he / she know!!??) I am hoping and praying you get good news.

    My Mum survived breast cancer, too, at the age of 50, so perhaps I should insist upon a mammogram too! I had no idea that certain fertility hormones can ramp up some forms of breast cancer!! I was aware of the risks to ovaries, but not breast cancer. Thanks for the heads-up!!xx

    1. Yes, some kinds breast cancer are estrogen-responsive. They literally run on estrogen, which I have been well aware of since the 90s. That's how estrogen blockers like (oh the irony!!) Femara were created. My mom was on Tamoxifen, which is close to Femara, until very recently.