I freely admit that I would not have gotten a screening mammogram if my daughter and then our internist had not insisted. My internist advised me that I owed it to my daughter and she was right. I got it done at an imaging center on my insurance plan and they were incompetent. They had me back for an ultrasound of one of my breasts, and then tortured me with an MRI of both breasts - yet were not able to diagnose what they saw and advised my internist that I should return in 6 months for another "screening." In the meantime, that imaging center was acquired by a well-respected local hospital with a top-notch radiologist who does nothing but women's imaging. He meticulously went through all the questionable and undiagnosed images from that imaging center. He thought he saw a malignancy in the screening pictures and started bombarding me with postcards advising me to come into the hospital's imaging center for re-screening - not mentioning any of his misgivings. I ignored them, determined that I had no risk for breast cancer (i.e., family history) and thus I couldn't be bothered going through it again. The postcards kept coming. Finally, he had his staff call me at home to plead with me to come in - without revealing his concern - and mentioning there would be "no cost" to me (well, I would hope not) but that was not the deciding factor. The deciding factor was the mere fact he had his staff contact me. I decided to go in and have it done. Much to my shock, he wanted to refer me to a surgeon at that appointment after getting more images. It turned out that breast had "pre-cancer" which was ultimately removed.
I had no symptoms. With some cancers there are vague warning signs. Why do any of us think for any reason we are not going to get cancer? I believe there is a tinge of arrogance in that. I did not bother to view the statistics of breast cancer and how 1 in 8 women HAVE NO FAMILY HISTORY who get it.
I owe my life to this persistent radiologist and have told him so, thanked him (though inadequately). I'm still facing challenges but at least am more vigilent about any health signs which need investigation.
The patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don't take your body to the doctor as if he was a repair shop. ~Quentin Regestein