Ask the Clinician

Lyndsay wants to answer your questions!

Have questions but are afraid to ask?  Take a look at some of these questions that patients have asked.  If you still have questions, please send an email to cbcc@georgetown.edu and we will respond and post your question here so others may benefit.

My breasts are painful. Can they give me a sedative before the mammogram procedure?

Taking a pain reliver like Motrin or Aleve 1 hour before your mammogram will minimize sensitivity. Additionally, you may want to avoid caffeine for 3 days prior to your exam.  Your mammogram technologist will make you as comfortable as possible during your mammogram.

My aunt died last week of triple negative breast cancer.  Could this be in the family genes?

Yes, all types of breast cancers are possibly related to genes however family history does not guarantee that you will develop breast cancer. In fact, most women with a new diagnosis of breast cancer do NOT have a family history. It is important to tell your doctor about your family history of all types of cancers as this may change how your doctor recommends screening. Some families may consider testing their genes to see if they are more likely to get cancer. Your doctor can guide you whether this is appropriate for you or your family.

I have had hysterectomy but still  have my ovaries due to my family’s history of breast cancer. Is it true that I am at higher risk for cervical cancer because I still have my ovaries?

Ask your gynecologist what type of hysterectomy you have had. Usually the cervix is removed during this surgery which will lower your risk for cervical cancer. If you still have your ovaries, you still need to see your gynecologist once a year for ovarian cancer screening which includes a physical exam. Risk factors for ovarian cancer are obesity, high-fat diet, not carrying a pregnancy and a family history of breast, colon or ovarian cancer. Risk factors for cervical cancer include human papilloma virus (HPV) infection, smoking, compromised immune system, Chlamydia infection, poor diet,  lack of access to Pap tests and the hormonal drug called Diethylstilbestrol (DES).