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OT Mammo Question for Men with BC

mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

I work in the mammo department. I often am asked how many men get mammograms?
Personally I have done mammo's on only 6 men since 2006. Only 2 had lumps the others just had swelling so the result was just Gynomastia. Of the 2 with lumps only one had BC.
Since 2006, I have done roughly 15,000 mammograms. If 1/8 women had BC, that would be 1,875 women that probably had BC. If 1% of that were men, that would be 18 men. I would think that I should have done 100 mammo's on men.

Enough on the numbers. So the question is, "if you had a lump, did you get a mammo or just go straight to ultrasound or biopsy?".

My standard answer when people ask about men getting mammos is that the doctor probably doesn't waste time on a mammo. If there is a lump they would probably go to ultrasound or straight to biopsy as a palpable lump is typically more urgent.

I prefer to give my patients accurate information so if my reasoning it off base please let me know. Most of the books I have on BC don't cover BC in men too much.


mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

Just bumping this one

ManWithaMission's picture
Posts: 497
Joined: Sep 2008

Well,Cindy,when I went to the doctors with my "lump";they first sent me for a mammogram, then an ultrasound and then the biopsy. When the girl doing the mammo closed the tray down, there was a lot of pain in my left "breast" where this 5cm lump was. So if you get a man with a lump in his chest, just remember that you don't have to "crank it down" too tight to see it!

I don't know if I was the exception to the rule or if these doctors always get a mammogram first. Not sure what the standard is for men. Just know that I still go once a year to have a mammo to my right "breast", so now I can empathize with you ladies on this issue.

So the answer to your question is,"Yes, I did have a mammo first".


Posts: 601
Joined: Mar 2004


Sorry they put you in that machine ouch! Mine hurts but at least I have some fat to lessen the pain. You are one brave man!

Any other men out there who wish to respond???


mamolady's picture
Posts: 796
Joined: May 2011

Sorry you have to go every year, but at least it is only one side! I hope the techs are nice about it. The pain was probably more related to the lump and your anxiety level at the time. I hope the mammo isn't so bad anymore. Men are mostly muscle and that is sometimes more uncomfortable than breast tissue if you don't relax your arm.
Thanks for your reply though!

Each type of imaging has specific things it is better at finding. The radiologist would be the best person to ask what will be effective for your particular case. That being said, as far as I know, CT isn't the best for screening the breast. It will find larger masses but not necessarily the tiny stuff mammos and MRI can pick up. (Mammo didn't pick up any of my 1.5+ cm masses though and the CT did.) Mammo and MRI are typically the best for screening the breast. The breast MRI uses a different set up than one for the chest would and I don't believe you can use MRI for imaging the lungs. If you are having Pet/CT the docs may feel that is sufficient. More x-rays over an extended time isn't always the best approach either.
I hope that helps some? As you know, what works for each of us is different.

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Mammo's hurt!!! It might only be for a few seconds, but, I could almost scream with pain. I know they are necessary, but, geesh!

I don't know if it was on here or where, but, someone told about the machine freezing and the woman was stuck in it. Someone told about a kill switch or something and I wondered where it is.

Mammolady, where is it?

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010


This isn't about men, I don't know anything about men's breast cancer mammograms.

I no longer have mammograms. I have ct scans every 3 months for lungs and lining involvement. I haven't had a mammogram since 2009. I figured, if there is a tumor in the one breast that is left, it will be seen with a ct scan. Is this correct?

My oncologist and primary don't ask me anymore. I have so many health issues and have seen so many doctors, I just don't want to go anymore.

Please give me your opinion.

Thank you,


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