Discussions on "Breast Awareness" in "Gynaecology Problems" forum.
5th Aug 2011, 01:54 AM #1
Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer affecting women
in the United Kingdom and in North America. Throughout your life you may
have heard of the importance of conducting regular breast
self-examinations to check for signs of brest cancer.
While breast cancer self-exams can be done, physicians and health
experts now advise women to increase their breast awareness.
What is Breast Awareness?
Breast awareness simply means becoming familiar with how your breasts
normally look and feel and knowing what changes to look and feel for in
your breast. This means to be aware of changes in the size of your
breasts, changes in the nipples, nipple rash, nipple discharge, breast
puckering or dimpling, lymph node swelling, breast pain, skin redness or
When to Start Breast Self-Exams
Health experts advise women to begin breast self-exams by the age of 20.
Women should have a clinical breast exam by a physician every three
years until the age of 40. After the age of 40, women should have a
clinical breast exam and mammogram every year. It is recommended that
women do a breast self-exam about a week after the first day of their
period, when breasts are no longer swollen and tender due to hormonal
How to Conduct a Breast Self-Exam
Breast self examinations involve a visual inspection and physical examination.
A visual examination involves standing in front of a mirror with your
arms hanging down and looking at your breasts to check for puckering,
dimpling, changes in breast size and texture and if your nipples are
inverted. The two other positions to check for these changes are with
your hands on your hips and your hands raised up with your palms pressed
The physical examination is to check for lumps or any changes in the
breast tissue. You can conduct the exam in the shower or lying down on a
bed. There are two methods to conduct the physical examination, the
clock pattern and the wedge pattern.
The clock pattern is where you envision the face of a clock on each of
your breasts. You lie down with your left hand behind your head, and use
your right hand to examine your left breast. Put your hand at top of
the breast using your middle three fingers in the 12 oâ€™clock position.
Use your fingers in a massaging, clockwise motion to check for lumps.
Then you move hour by hour, using the same motion and feeling for any
changes in your breasts. After you have repeated one cycle, move your
fingers closer to your nipple and repeat the process until you get to
You should check both your left and right nipple for discharge by
pinching with your fingers at 12 oâ€™clock and 6 oâ€™clock and at 3
oâ€™clock and 9 oâ€™clock. When you are done with your left breast, put
your right hand behind your head and use your left hand to examine your
right breast in the same fashion. Make sure to feel your lymph nodes
under your armpit as well as areas around your breasts for any tissue
The wedge method entails envisioning each breast as a pie divided into
equal wedges. Lie down on a bed and place your left hand behind your
head. Use your right hand to examine your left breast beginning at the
top of your breast and working your way down to your nipple. Use your
middle three fingers to massage firmly but gently from the top of the
wedge to the bottom. Once you have completed the wedge, move your
fingers to the next wedge going in a clockwise direction. For the
opposite side, put your right hand behind your head and use your left
hand to massage your right breast. Do not forget about checking lymph
nodes under your armpit and tissue around your breasts. Examine your
nipples for discharge.
If you are not comfortable with the clock or wedge methods, then you can
use a simple sweeping technique with your three middle fingers. You
begin at your collarbone and work in a clockwise direction from the
outside of your breast towards the nipple. If you have larger or
thicker breasts, use a walking motion with your fingers to feel for any
lumps or changes. Do not forget to check your lymph nodes and nipples.
Detection of a Lump
If you find a lump in your breast, you should contact your doctor as
soon as possible. Keep in mind that 80% of breast lumps are
usually during their periods and menopause. Fibrocystic breasts are
lumpy, painful and tender and develop when breast cells fill with fluid
and form benign cysts in the breasts. These changes are attributed to
hormone fluctuations during a womanâ€™s menstrual period and menopause.
Pros and Cons of Breast Self-Exams
Breast self-exams in combination with clinical breast exams and
mammography can reduce the risk of terminal breast cancer. By checking
your breasts regularly you can identify a possibly cancerous lump and
have it treated when the cancer is still in its early stages.
Breast self-exams by themselves do not reduce the number of people dying
from breast cancer. Breast self-exams can miss tumors so it is
important to have more than one method for screening for breast cancer.
You may discover a lump and have an unnecessary biopsy conducted if the
lump turns out to be benign.
Ref : Health and more
5th Aug 2011, 01:52 PM #2
Re: Breast Awareness
Four simple concepts that can be used together or separately to create healthy lymphatic and energetic movement in breast tissue.
Develop a routine that works for you using these concepts. Know that this routine can change over time depending on your needs. One of the main skills that we are learning to develop with these steps is an increasing sense of what we need at any given time.
Deep breathing exercises massage the thoracic duct, which is the largest lymph vessel in the body. This helps to move the lymph. There is a direct connection between quality of breathing habits and healthy lymph. Deep breathing also changes our stress response towards a more relaxed response. This helps our system function the way it was intended to function. More than 80% of disease is stress related. Stopping your stress response is a crucial component in disease prevention.
Every study implicates the positive connection between exercise and good health. This relates to oxygen, energy and lymph because movement affects them all. There are many types of exercise that are effective for enhancing lymphatic function and energy movement. The Breast Health Project is promoting a set of very simple movements because they are specifically designed to open the energy channels in the chest. Because they are simple, it becomes easier to develop awareness of emotional patterns that may surface when energy begins to move in this area.
Lymphatic Breast Massage
Lymphatic massage is different than regular massage in that it mimics how lymph moves naturally and exaggerates that movement. There are a number of lymph nodes in the armpit area and around the collarbone, which help to clean and filter the breast tissue. We can learn to enhance lymph movement in our breast using simple massage techniques.
If your breast tissue and surrounding areas are sore, this is a sign that the energy in your chest area is not moving well. Keeping this area flowing and pain free is an important part of our breast health model. In Eastern medical theory, stagnant energy can create the condition in which disease can develop. The purpose of the energetic exercises that you’ll be taught in this model is to support continuous healthy flow of energy in the breast area. A premenstrual condition may cause breast tenderness. If this is the case and the area is too sore to touch, try these techniques after your period has started. These points stimulated regularly throughout the month will decrease premenstrual soreness.
5th Aug 2011, 02:01 PM #3
Re: Breast Awareness
Put your hands on your belly, take ten deep slow breaths. Feel your belly rise and fall. As you breathe out, push the air out of your lungs. Use your stomach muscles and tighten your ribcage to get all the air out. The in breath happens easily and naturally. Fill your whole chest and belly with air. Repeat this process. There is no need to hold your breath, just breathe easily and rhythmically. Imagine breathing beauty, wellness or love into your being. Feel your body draw nourishment from the breath.
To go faster, (after you are comfortable with the slow breathing) start slow and speed up. Push the air out of your body using the stomach muscles. This breath takes longer to become comfortable. Start slow. Begin with five fast breaths, then ten, and build up your strength. You could work up to a full minute. It is great and you will feel very energized! If you feel dizzy, stop. And please, don’t do this fast deep breathing while you drive.
After we breathe, sit quietly for a few seconds.
Once you get comfortable with breathing, imagine that it is not just oxygen coming into your body, but nourishing, loving energy.
BENEFITS OF MOVEMENT Increased immune function Promotes blood circulation Increased metabolism Promotes healthy muscles Enhance mood Opens energy channels Promotes energy movement Prevents stagnation/disease
First, get familiar with the movements. Second, learn to observe how your body feels when the energy is moving in your system.
Stand comfortably. Feel your feet on the floor. Feel the sturdiness of your stance. Take a deep breathe.
Raise your hands up, facing out about shoulder height. Slowly extend your arms straight out in front of you.
Then pull your arms back . Repeat this movement series for one minute.
Rest your arms by your side and close your eyes. Hold still for 30 seconds (minimum) and breathe. This is the time to learn by observation. Notice what you feel in your body. There is no right or wrong thing to feel, this is very unique to you.
This part of the exercise is important for several reasons. In the yogic philosophy, the time we spend resting in between poses is the time that the body heals itself. From a neurological perspective, when we take the time to feel inside our body, we develop neural pathways between our brain and that part of our body. This benefits us in two main ways:
1) As we become more sensitive to what is happening in our body, we will notice more easily if something does not feel right. For example if the energy is stagnating or the muscles are tight and causing tension.
2) It increases our mind body relationship. This helps us learn to relax our body more easily.
5th Aug 2011, 02:11 PM #4
Re: Breast Awareness
Below are simple steps to use for lymphatic breast massage.
Put your hand in your armpit and push inward and upward. Go deep into the armpit. Pump upward and release. Do this ten to twenty times.
Grab your entire breast and move it upward toward the armpit. If your breasts are large, this may take more than one hand position. Do this ten times.
Grab your breast and pump directly inward toward the chest wall. Do this five times.
Holding your breast stable, pump the upper inner quadrant of your breast up toward your neck. Do this five times.
You can do the pumping more than the recommended number of times if you like.
Remember, when working on your breast tissue:
Focus on creating movement. Don’t worry too much about proper direction. This pumping action is different than massage. As you move the breast in the initial direction, use some pressure. Then release and let the breast return to its normal position. It becomes a pumping action. On the move up, use pressure and then release to allow the breast back. This mimics and enhances the natural movement of the lymph system.
Look at the diagram below and notice how many points run through the chest. Try to find these points on your own body. They may be sore! Start along the breast bone in between each rib. Go from the top of the breast bone, near the collarbone all the way down between your breasts (1 – 5). Poke around to find tender spots. Massage them gently or simply hold them for fifteen seconds.
Then, move all the way down to the bottom of the breast. See how there is one point in each corner of the breast and a point right underneath the nipple at the bottom of the breast (6-8). Feel around to find those points. Are they sore? If you have trouble finding the one in the middle (7), try moving just a bit under the breast, there may be a ridge underneath the breast. Try feeling just above that ridge.
On the outside of the breast, under the arm there is another spot (9). To find it put your thumb on the edge of the breast tissue, directly across from the nipple. In the upper outer quadrant of the chest, there are two points (10 –11). If you have tight shoulders, those points are probably sore.
25th Aug 2011, 10:04 AM #5Newbie
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- Aug 2011
Re: Breast Awareness
I agree with your post. Women must be aware of the signs and symptoms of of breast cancer. Health experts say that breasts may change in size and shape during pregnancy and throughout the menstrual cycle. They still advise though, if the lump does not go away after a month, to visit your doctor for consultation.
12th Oct 2012, 03:45 PM #6
Re: Breast Awareness
Nice.......it is very useful
7th Jun 2015, 07:39 AM #7
Re: Breast Awareness
Laudable effort in sharing this topic here