Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treasure Chest

*Updated 30 Oct 08 8:15 pm

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer occurs in both women and men. It affects many people, not only the survivors but their family and friends.

I remember an aunt who had breast cancer years ago when I was a child. She hid it from her family and didn't get treatment until it was too late. My mother took us over to visit my aunt. After playing with my cousins, I walked in on my mother helping my aunt change her bandages. It was a terrible sight. The once proud, strong, vain woman had been reduced to a skeleton, aged beyond her years. I could see this gaping red and pink wound in her chest being cleaned. She died a few days later. I overheard my mother talking with the family after the funeral. Apparently, my aunt had revealed she was in denial of her condition at first. She knew what the lump could've meant. But my aunt feared losing her breast more than her life.

Early detection means a better chance of treatment, a greater chance of survival. A breast self exam is one of the early screening tools to help you detect breast cancer. If you find any lumps or changes, see your health care provider as soon as possible. Here are the basic steps:

The first three steps require the use of a mirror.

1. Stand in front of the mirror with your hands on your hips. Look for any signs of nipple distortion, rash, swelling, redness, or unusual changes in the size and shape and appearance of your breasts.

2. Now, raise your arms overhead and look for the same changes. Now, jiggle your breasts and see how they look...Okay, the jiggling is not really part of the steps; that was just for fun.

3. While looking in the mirror, check for signs of fluids or discharge coming out of the nipples.

4. Now, lay down on your back and use the hand opposite to the breast being examined; left hand for right breast, and right hand for left breast. Keep the right arm overhead if examining the right breast; the same for the left.

Using the tip of your fingers, use firm pressure to start a circular motion about 1 inch in diameter, palpating (feeling) for lumps. Start from the nipple, using a circular pattern, work your way out towards the rest of the breast. Make sure you cover the entire breast from the collarbone to top of the abdomen, from the armpit to the cleavage.

Another alternative is to use an up and down pattern in rows. Just work your fingers starting from the bottom going up, palpating all along the breast. Work the rows from the outer side of the breast towards the cleavage.

5. Finally, palpate your breasts when sitting or standing. Just palpate the same way as you would if you were laying down.

One of the best times to feel for any lumps is in the shower,

because the skin is slippery and wet; it makes it easier to detect any lumps or distortions.

You can examine your breasts by yourself, but it's okay to have another pair of hands feel up your breasts. There's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion.

Treasure your chest. Breast is best. Be good to your boobs.

*Updated, thanks to Snooze for the hot tip and link! Canada loves breasts! Thank you, Snooze and the Breast Cancer Society of Canada!

Please note, I and my staff will be available as well if you need help examining your breasts.


  1. Early detection is crucial and if you've been to the family doctor and been told "don't worry, it's nothing" and you still suspect get a second opinion.

    Misdiagnoses happen all the time.

  2. my mothers cousin died after a long treatment with the works. Of course this was back in 1991 and it was all very different back then.

  3. CP x2, That's so true. Always get a second opinion and listen to your instincts...they're usually right!

    I'm sorry to hear about your mother's cousin. It's a very hard thing to lose someone to an illness, especially after a long course of treatment. And you're right about medicine being advanced these days. We've got better screening and treatment, but it still relies on early detection. So everyone go ahead and feel your boobs and your friends, too. It's a matter of health.

    Beast, As long as they look and feel fine, keep jiggling. It's good clean fun!

  4. Okay, guys, just so you know, men can get breast cancer too. I know someone (male) who had to have a partial mastectomy to remove the cancer from his breast. So you guys should be aware of that too.

    Beast, if you have moobs, you'd better hop to that self-exam asap!

    I do examine my own breasts, but actually much prefer it when someone else does it.... especially if it involves another activity at the same time! (wink, wink!)

  5. Please make Beast put his shirt back on.

  6. My mom had breast cancer at a later age, but thankfully she didn't need chemo or radiation. She did lose one of her breasts, though, and has a prosthetic one implanted.

  7. Ponygirl, I'm glad you're taking matters into your own hands! And it's true...friends lend a helping hand.

    MJ, shirtless (or topless) is really the best way to get a firm grip on things.

    Tara, I'm glad that your mom survived and is still around to spend time with her family. That is good news!

  8. Excellent post. Mind you, my girls are so sensitive that I had to skip over some parts. However, I want to help those four men in the shower check for testicular cancer...

    For breast examinations, I like to call Cam.

    [obviously you need to repost your lesson on how to make links]

  9. Snooze, I'm sure men every where appreciate a helping hand (or two) and enjoy help in examining their testicles!

    That Cam link is funny! Thanks! I'm updating the post to reflect the great link!

  10. * peers through narrowed eyes *

    Has Beast put his shirt back on yet?

    Come on Snooze - Let's go back to 1939 and assist those four, wet young men!

  11. Just remember to use firm but gentle pressure during the hands on exam!

  12. I have a feeling that maybe it's not their breasts IDV wants to examine

  13. Perhaps he wants to check them for hernias instead...

  14. If I do that will I look like the guy with the mirror?

  15. IDV: Oooh - Can Broom bring us back in time? If not, we can help out the next time there's a filming of the French men's rugby team nude calendar. My DVD of Dieux de Stade is getting overplayed.

  16. Mutley, I think anyone who does enough breast strokes can look like that guy in the mirror ;)

    CP, IDV does have those magic hands!

    Snooze, which positions will you and IDV play for the French rugby team? Hooker? First receiver? Second receiver? Pay attention when Ball's out! and careful you don't end up in the Sin Bin!

  17. Just try to imagine how quickly we could race ahead and discover more preventitive measures and cures if the governrment spent all the Trillion$ that it wastes on weapons, on health and education.

    I love breastusses.
    I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a few over the years and cannot for the life of me understand their primordial power. Seriously talk about being hardwired into the brain.

    When you're a Teen loaded with hornymones, a perfectly sculpted little bag of fatty tissue was enough incentive to make you do almost anything! Scary.

  18. Donn, that's because the smaller of the two heads is doing the thinking.... ;-)

    There are some of us of the female persuation who are hardwired like that when, erm, exposed to a man's winky that is ready for action (even when it is clothed). I know not all women are visual/tactile/etc., but for those of us who are, keeping the lights on is an absolute must! ((Just to clarify.... it has to be a man I want to be with.))

    I personally think every nation's government on the face of this planet should spend most of their budget on healthcare and education. Just think of what a great place this would be if that was the case. We would have healthy, happy, well-educated people the world over who know about population control and disease prevention and environmental protection/conservation.

    ((sigh)) Sorry... I think I was daydreaming....

  19. Donn, it's amazing on how little we spend on preventive care! We could prevent a lot more serious (and costly) illnesses if we only had enough access to preventive health.

    I think you're right about boobs being hardwired on the brain. Most of us were fed on them! And they're usually very pleasing to the eyes and touch!

    Ponygirl, it would be great if the focus of gov't was on the health and education of its people. Too many are too busy robbing the people they are supposed to protect.

    And penises luv to be adored, just like boobs luv to be worshiped. If nature didn't want us to appreciate them, then they wouldn't stick out so much as to grab our attention!

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