The truth about mammograms (from women who’ve had them)

Breast screening is the most effective way of detecting breast cancer early, yet many women are worried about the process. Here, real women who’ve had mammograms share their tips and experience.

These quotes come from women who responded to our mammography posts on social media. Join the conversation by sharing this article and your own advice using the social buttons at the top and bottom of this article.

On mammograms and discomfort

Pain and discomfort are common mammogram concerns, especially for first-timers.

“Had my first one on Saturday. Was quite nervous as I am fairly busty. Not painful at all, slightly uncomfortable at most. The (radiographer) put me completely at ease. Please ladies, don’t put it off!” – Paula C.

“I have never found it unbearable, pressure yes but that’s fine. Anyway, it’s such a good thing to get done for just a few minutes of discomfort. Get it done ladies!” – Sue W.

On new mammography technology

Many mammography suites now feature flexible plates for greater comfort during your scan.

“It’s not painful anymore. The last two were much more comfortable than those before. Must be the new technology!” – Sandra T.

“The last one was fantastic, done at the hospital with a new type of machine that is gentle, quick and painless.” – Jill B.

On detecting cancer

“I had my first mammogram three months before my 50th birthday and they found a cancerous lump. Within four weeks I had it removed and began radiotherapy. It only takes a matter of minutes of very slight discomfort. I have been clear for nearly 10 years and still have yearly mammograms.”  – Wendy W.

“It’s worth any bit of pain. My stage 3 breast cancer was picked up in a routine mammogram just over three years ago, luckily I’m still here to tell the tale.” – Sue B.

On getting it done when it suits you

Women over 40 can refer themselves for a mammogram at Nuffield Health.

“Get it done ASAP. It’s not comfortable but doesn’t hurt and could save your life.” – Tracey F.

Last updated Tuesday 19 March 2019

First published on Monday 4 September 2017