Mammography Tips for Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Sufferers

Mammography Tips for Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Sufferers

By Staff

Fibromyalgia is more often seen in women, and can cause great pain and tenderness throughout the body.  And, some women shy away from the thought of mammograms because the compression can cause severe pain.

One doctor has recognized this and put together a list of tips for women who suffer in chronic pain and fear mammograms.  His name is Dr. Stephen Rose, and he’s the chief medical officer at Solis Mammography, which has offices in several states.

  1. Women may find it more comfortable to schedule their annual mammogram one week after their menstrual cycle has ended as breasts seem to be less tender. It is important to note that a woman’s menstrual cycle does not impact the mammogram image in any way whatsoever.
  2. Women need to communicate their health issues and concerns, beginning with scheduling their mammogram appointment all the way through to the mammography technologist (the one who explains the procedure, positions a woman for the mammogram, and monitors the images). A well-trained technologist who is a specialist in breast imaging will work to obtain a high-quality image while limiting any discomfort/pain. As evidence, 89 percent of Solis Mammography patients (more than 150,000 women last year) reported that they experienced “little to no discomfort” during their mammogram.
  3. The low temperature of the mammogram screening rooms may be a concern. When scheduling the mammogram appointment, ask if a robe or a dressing cape can be provided. If not, a woman can bring one from home (but be sure it has no metal of any kind). Also, patients will only need to remove their top, so a two-piece outfit is recommended.
  4. If they think it will help in their comfort, women can ask to be seated during their mammogram.
  5. If the mammography technologist’s hands are chilly, ask her to wear gloves or use hand warmers like the technologists at Solis Mammography.
  6. Explain to the technologist that longer than normal breaks may be needed between compressions to recover.
  7. Stress can be an insidious culprit to fibromyalgia triggers. Try to relax, taking deep breaths, and think about the peace of mind that will come following the mammogram. Remember, accurate information empowers women.
  8. Most women find the atmosphere to be a key factor in their stress level, so be sure to choose a non-clinical, warm and welcoming center for your mammogram screening.
  9. And finally, bring a friend – or better yet, have the friend get her mammogram too. It is almost always more comforting and can often offer a meaningful distraction.

Let’s face it, no one wants to get their annual mammogram. What they want is peace of mind – either by knowing they are all clear for another year or by finding any concerns at the earliest possible stage to offer the best treatment options possible.

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Authored by: Staff

There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Bennie George at 1:20 am

    Yep, no choice to tolerate this Fibromyalgia every month, really, ever! Really hope there will be some built method to solve it. Not just an article, but actual useful method! cell tissue lysates

  2. Kelly Branscom at 1:35 pm

    I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia at 27 I am now 55 I had a breast reduction at 32 all my mammary glands also removed I get severe pain from a mammogram and I had chest wall inflammation as a result excruciating pain for days I will next time check into alternatives for my breast exam

  3. Kim Miller at 8:51 pm

    I had a mammogram on March 23rd of 2015 that aggravated my C-6, C-7 bulging disc that resulted in Degenerative Disc Disease from an injury in 1982. My neck, shoulder and arm have never been the same since the mammogram that changed my life.

    I must return each year for another mammogram, especially since my mother is status post breast cancer and other forms or cancer run on both sides of the family. Make sure to inform your referring provider of problems you may have with the mammography exam. Most importantly, be certain to tell the place you’re scheduled to have the test and the technician herself your specific issues.

    I had my latest mammogram in March of this year. It was the best experience yet. I made sure everyone knew I had been hurt during this procedure before and the staff were extremely patient and understanding. It’s your right to expect to be treated humanely and I have found that speaking up is your best option.

  4. Jennifer at 3:02 pm

    Actually women and men should consult with their doctors about alternative methods of breast cancer detection such as thermography or ultrasound.

  5. Sandra Stedinger at 1:13 pm

    I can get through the mammogram with only moderate pain, but I am concerned about extra radiation exposure, since I have had a lot of studies through the years. Can you give me information about ultrasound or other studies to screen for breast cancer, which avoid radiation and are less traumatic to the patient? Are other approaches as accurate in diagnosis? My tip to others is to take ibuprofen or Xanax before the study. Meditation while waiting puts me in a calmer state of mind.