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BTD Forums  /  Nonnie Clubhouse  /  Breast examination all together done differently!
Posted by: Goldie, Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 8:40pm
I have read and seen many breast examinations on tv or all sort of other places.. It is the way I did my own examinations.. soft tissue, deep caressing the breast fleshy parts..

Today I went to see a doc to examine my breast and he did nothing like that at all.  He searched under the breast by the bones, and looked for cysts.. any round thingy.. any lengthy any BONY hard spots he termed as ridges.. this was relatively painful - like looking for presser points.. so the jury is out as to what all the spots are.. most likely nothing.. but worth discussing as time goes on..

I will keep you informed of what comes of all those areas of some concern..

What brought me there is a soft spot that has grown over the last few months to about one inch in the soft parts... I will do the test and know more..

One more thing.. The pictures shown even on this doctors walls, they do NOT do the breast exam justice.. they show tumors on the fleshy soft part of the breast.. they show nothing on the bony parts under the breast..ESPECIALLY important for MEN..

I think all this advertising is misleading and if the young doc is right in what he does in his exam, then a lot more people would be at risk of not 'looking' feeling for differences..

also:  THE PICTURES on POSTERS IN HIS OFFICE ARE PLACED IN THE WRONG PLACES -- this IS EVEN MORE SAD.  Those posters ought to be in other doctors offices, as a reminder of what to deal with while also dealing with other issues..Like my regular doctor ought to silently advocate for breast exams, just by having a poster where I would see it.. or at least have the one page sheets available for give away..  I have a self exam thingy hanging over my shower head.. it serves all my guest to remember the need to do this.. preventive self exam.  

I think if that were done many more people would consider going to see a specialist .. much sooner.

THIS is not about just a mammogram.. we could and would do better detection work IF we only KNEW how to do a better job.  
Posted by: Jennihul, Friday, October 12, 2012, 11:49pm; Reply: 1
The American Cancer Society has recently acknowledged that women (and some MDs) are so poor at doing thorough breast exams that they have made their advice for them optional. If it freaks you out to perform them or you are wearing a track between your bedroom and your doctor's office with finding lump after lump that turns out to be normal, you can skip them and not feel guilty. I wouldn't skip having your MD check and maybe a nurse at your employee heath center, if you have one. If you are over 40 or have a strong family history (Mom, sister, daughter, especially PRE-menopausal) then you need a yearly mammogram as well.

But if you do feel comfortable with the whole process, Breast Self Exams aren't difficult to learn to do properly. Remember, the vulnerable tissue extends from your collar bone to the junction of your breast and abdomen. From your side ribs area to your breast bone. Under your armpits. That whole area can get breast cancer though it is much more prevalent in the breast itself.

Most instructors recommend choosing one of three "mapping" methods so no areas are skipped. A spiral from the nipple outward, a grid where you divide that above described area into horizontal and vertical zones, and a wedge. (Of the three I like the wedge the least. More chances to miss something small.)

Lying down is best (and you can also do quick checks in the shower with soapy hands but the shower type can miss deeper lesions caused by fingers slipping.) You should use the pads of your fingertips and apply pressure to EACH one or two inch zone in three levels: Light for things just under your skin and for your skin itself. Medium and deep. The deep should be very firm pressure. Then move to the next zone. Again, light, medium, deep pressure. Until that entire area is covered from side ribs to breastbone, collarbone to abdomen.

Then, move to the mirror and stand with your arms out like a gorilla. Lean forward slightly. Turn in bright light and look for dents in your skin where the tissue seems to be pulling inward. Tip a little to the side each way to let your breast sway toward the center. (We have many ladies who have no other symptom other than this denting. Early breast cancers that "pull" on the tissue around them are sometimes not even at the "mass" stage but can present as these dents.)Check for any other changes in the mirror.

Then gently squeeze your areola and nipple to see if discharge comes out or if there are masses behind the nipple. (A thick white waxy substance in your nipple ducts is normal unless it is very profuse.)

What to look for:

Skin changes that are thickened or look like the texture of an orange peel.

Any reddened areas of the skin that cannot be explained by friction, sunburn or clothing or known skin conditions. If the red patch persists more than a couple days, see your MD as soon as possible. Inflammatory breast cancer is aggressive and difficult to treat.

Nipple discharges, most of which are benign, can be a sign of breast cancer, cysts, hormone imbalances, pituitary tumors, microscopic tumors in the ducts called "papillomas" which are almost always benign, and other conditions.

The soft, squishy lumps and thickenings in breast tissue are less likely to be problematic unless they represent a recent change.

Generally, a "cobblestone" texture over an area is normal unless it represents a recent change.

Hard lumps, of varying sizes, that feel like pebbles or like uncooked beans or lumps that seem to drag the tissue around them when pressed are most worrisome and should be evaluated.

Breast pain is a very common, non-concerning symptom that results in many diagnostic and expensive exams that are probably unnecessary, by and large. Breast pain is almost always caused by hormonal fluctuations (even after menopause) and is rarely seen with breast cancers. Or caused by "mystery" conditions most likely related to inflammation. There are of course exceptions but if you have fleeting, moving or intermittent breast pain or breast pain diffusely over both breasts, it is most likely nothing to worry about. If you have focal breast pain, in one spot for a prolonged period of time, it can be evaluated with breast exam, mammogram and ultrasound but the vast majority will not be breast cancer or will be caused by benign (unconcerning) conditions.

If you have focal breast pain, in one spot for a prolonged period of time, it can be evaluated with breast exam, mammogram and ultrasound but the vast majority will not be breast cancer or will be caused by benign (non-concerning) conditions. You should be the judge of your level of concern and speak to your MD if it doesn't feel right.

Consistency is important with Breast Self Exam. Try to do them once a month, about a week to ten days after your period begins. If you are post menopausal, many women remember by choosing the day of the month that corresponds to their birthday.

Posted by: Amazone I., Saturday, October 13, 2012, 11:20am; Reply: 2
go for thermography... and all is fine ;) ;D......

justamente got proposed to do a check with x-rays... no thank you you can have all on your own ;) (funny)(shrug)(hand) the MD was nearly shocked that I refused.... ;D ;D ;D beautiful...wunneful .....(ok)(woot)(evil)(evil)(hehe)(eek)(kewl)(shhh)
Posted by: Goldie, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 11:47am; Reply: 3
Thanks .. yet even in the above it does not talk about under the breast tissue which is what I experienced..

thanks.. no matter - a generous post.

Isa did you have a problem or just a check up?......if you had a problem area then what.. ?

I am scheduled for mammogram direct digital.. and supposed to be less radiation....
Image W/US if indicated..  I am now presuming that it means Ultra Sound..?  

doc said they need both to determine what all the spots are.. spots -hard / under- I never knew I had until the soft spot started growing..

I have a weeks time to think about it.. I am not specifically pleased with the doctor I went to, but will see my own doctor before that.. but they work in the same office... I also did not like that the assistant was asking me questions even when making on appointment.. then once in the office another asked me personal questions again.. I did not answer.. there are enough staff people in that office and I have no idea how they are supposed to deal with privacy.. I have few things to hide but still .. what if I did? does all have to be in a chart?  As it is every condition they billed for over time was on a sheet they gave me with my appointments list..

I am annoyed.. but only slightly.. some things are what they are?  

......Since I am eating beans for about a week,I drink more, and think I am much more water logged.. and the mass is more difficult to feel for...
Posted by: Spring, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 2:02pm; Reply: 4
When I used to volunteer in the breast clinic at a hospital, we had a breast form with different types of lumps, etc., made into them, and they were used to teach women what was worrisome and what was not when they did their self-exams. Not perfect, by any means, but at least it gave women some understanding of what different objects was supposed to feel like. Anything noticeably hard is reason to get more help - whether tiny or large. This is just part of the self-exam, though. As noted above, the visual exam is very important indeed!
Posted by: Jennihul, Saturday, October 13, 2012, 2:45pm; Reply: 5
There are many different topics going on here all at once. I'd be happy to help but the comments are all over the place.

Goldie, what do you mean by "under the breast tissue?" Do you mean against your chest wall? Very deep in the breasts? Soft spots are not worrisome but hard spots can be.

They ask questions because they need to know which type of mammogram you need, whether you need an breast radiologist present, whether an ultrasound is warranted and what kind order they'll need from your physician. All of those people from the schedulers to the tech to the file room clerk to the cleaning lady are working under ALL the same confidentiality rules that every hospital has to work under. If you wait until you arrive at the clinic, all that has to be done while you wait and it can take hours to get an order faxed from your Dr.

Be cautious about "hiding" things from the people trying to care for you, you will only make it harder to give you the care you may need. Trust me, we only ask questions about what matters to our specific field. Breast people won't care if your cardiologist didn't like your blood work, for example.

A digital mammogram is currently state of the art. There is a reason why insurance companies do not cover thermograms. It is because they are not state of the art. That doesn't mean they have no merit. The technology is sound for what it shows: heat differences. But the assumption that all cancers have an increased blood supply is false. Many cancers, especially those in the duct at the earliest stage, would have had no reason to grow peripheral or increased blood supplies at that early stage.

I would suggest that if you want a thermogram, you have one. Just not INSTEAD of a mammogram. There are some kinds of small cancers that are difficult to distinguish on mammography especially with dense breasts, and who knows? You may get lucky on the thermogram.

Be wary of companies that make excessive claims about their thermograms vs mammograms. Remember they are selling a product that has been around since the 1980s and despite some excellent improvements in resolution and sensitivity, is still is not state of the art. Still not covered by insurance. Still not accepted by breast specialists, surgeons and radiologists whose experience in breast health is unparalleled. When a thermogram finds a hot spot, they are still going to send you for a mammogram, ultrasound and possible breast MRI. No surgeon in his right mind would biopsy you based only on a thermogram result.

Posted by: Amazone I., Saturday, October 13, 2012, 4:01pm; Reply: 6
neither nor it was a proposition from a colleague of mine... just for fun.... :P(dizzy)(hand)
Posted by: Goldie, Sunday, October 14, 2012, 2:50pm; Reply: 7
;D  the kind of personal stuff I was talking will not have bearing on this new situation.. and it was the surprise that made me uncomfortable.. certain a sign of the time we live in..

I am not happy so far but my own doc will set me on the path I need to be set on..

AS for self exams I am still struck again how superficial the ones shown anywhere really are.. its nearly the difference between a stroking of the hair and on orgasm.. I mean for all people with breast to take notice of my intension's here.. suggesting that there ought to be more expression of self examination when woman and men take their annual examinations.. to teach and educate is all important.  Dr. Gupta not withstanding spending much time on all sort of issues, watching TV might help with PREVENTION if it where shown in a proper way..  

Posted by: Jennihul, Sunday, October 14, 2012, 4:41pm; Reply: 8
Anyone who examines you will teach you how to do it if you ask for that knowledge.

Sadly, most patients don't seem to be interested in the important preventative things their MDs wish they would do (lose weight, quit smoking, drink less, exercise, eat more fruits and veggies, etc) so MDs and their nurses lose interest in wasting their time on a losing battle. It's like talking to a brick wall.

Just ask. They will help anyone show shows genuine interest.
Posted by: Goldie, Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 9:57am; Reply: 9
Not really the facts here.. I have listened to Doctors for years and found that they know what I tell them.. and then the search for help is on me.. I have had labels galore and was in pain for 63 years..

Until I found specific help I suffered.  I had started BTD when I first heard about it years ago, and learned that Healing and Health are not as easy as with the few things you mentioned.  A doctors recommended diet was what made me more ill for ten years - until I changed doctor and he gave me a new sheet with foods on it that no longer sent me to the hospital for more tests.. I have 168 belly xrays to show for that.. and none since the day I walked out of the first doctors office who was a specialist in internal medicine / after he made on arrogant statement born out of ignorance.....  He just was not educated in the specifics, and did not care enough to sort out what might have been the situation/ or at the very least just admit to having no clue...

By comparison Dr D's books where correct from DAY ONE on!  Stomach issues and hospital stay no longer needed, no doubling over in pain, no longer having 'no life' no pills no potions any more!! just food...  .. All pain gone!!

Dropping weight.. I would pay thousands if only I could do so.. I have done just about all things even on BTD and have a devil of a time dropping weight and it takes only a day of eating and I gain any losses back.. I would give my back teeth if it was as easy as listening to a doctor.. Dr D's BTD at least did not make me sick!  So even at 160 I am healthier today then many who are 123.. Wishing does not do it.. admonishing does not do it.  Isolation or groups does not do it, and asking for help does not do it.. I can tell you what did.. Dexatrims helped but the government took it off the market and people got dramatically fatter.. Bid deal IF I was one who might have developed some bad effects or even died from it.. at least I was comfortable and I would have died happy and thinner!  And darn it, I took it for years and was fine with it..

Doing a self examination.. I had many, and I paid attention, but no one ever did one like this doctor.. it was so different, maybe more thorough?? or maybe just alarmist?? I have no idea.. and I might even change doctor as a result of this, as I wonder if the doctor was right, my tests in a few days will tell me, but I did not like this doctors behavior, arrogance and painful examination.. He may be good I will find out, if one of all those spots he mentioned is anything to be concerned about, I might be grateful, if they all turn out to be nothing then I will be pissed of and make my feelings known.. There may indeed be a need for the painful finding of every spot, hard or soft, but then IF the mammograms are so good, then why not just take one, without pocking around and actually creating pain.. Next weeks test will tell...

Assuredly if he turns out correct and the underneath the breast spots are a concern I am happy to have learned and will share more about it here, but if not I still will have learned to do the examination in a more thorough way, starting under the soft tissue and working to the top.. ....
and that is why I write all the posts here and make a point of sharing.. IT might be important.. I am not judging that.. and I am certain that some here may benefit from knowing more about how to do a breast examination the 'better way'.. but why then was I NOT EVER thought to do it that way?? Why did no doctor ever do it that way?  Why did it ME finding a soft mass that made the difference?  I don't know, but now I know and so do you if you read to here.. better to be educated --- AS WE DO EACH OTHER HERE EVERY DAY-- than being right or maybe all wrong.. The importance is in being UPDATED and EDUCATED.. LEARNING new ways..      

Jennihul... If I am over reacting (sorry from the bottom of my heart- I know you mean well)  Yet.. it is not that I don't agree with some of what you say, but it took years for doctors to finally allow alternative treatments to be EVALUATED just because they had no knowledge and where equally unwilling to learn..  Just look how much the good doctors do not even believe or care to review BTD..  so many millions or suffering clients could be saved many hours of pain... I was one who suffered for decades...  

THANK YOU DR D> I no longer suffer, and YOUr books reassured that 'what' I knew instinctively, turned out to be so, AND NO xrays needed!!!

Cancer is not what I am afraid of, ignorance and (cover up) with arrogance scares the heck out of me...  

Posted by: BluesSinger, Wednesday, October 17, 2012, 10:50am; Reply: 10
Here here Goldie.. well said... after reading the entire thread, I love this last post of yours.  Bless you on this journey... I hope everything turns out ok.  
Posted by: Goldie, Thursday, October 25, 2012, 1:09pm; Reply: 11
Ok as it stands there is nothing wrong with me.. ;D all is well despite all the probing on my ribs.. ??)

I am grateful for my good health...  8)
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Thursday, October 25, 2012, 5:16pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from Jennihul
The American Cancer Society has recently acknowledged that women (and some MDs) are so poor at doing thorough breast exams that they have made their advice for them optional....then you need a yearly mammogram as well.

I distrust mammograms because radiation is a known cause of cancer. I understand the purpose of using mammograms to test suspicious lumps, but I don't trust them for "prevention." I remember reading that regular mammograms are worthless. Occasionally they do find lumps  before they're palpable, but if these are dangerous lumps, they would have been palpable within a month or two anyway since the dangerous kind are fast-growing. Most of the lumps found are slow-growing and not dangerous, yet women get freaked out by these "false positive" lab results.

Now they're saying to skip the self-exams and just go for the annual mammogram if you're in a high-risk group? It sounds to me like they're trying to sell more mammograms, and make them even more "essential" by making them the ONLY screening process used.

It's important to know your body, and learn what's normal for you. Then you know when to go to the doctor with suspicious lumps or lesions.

Goldie- I'm so relieved you don't have cancer!
Posted by: Jane, Thursday, October 25, 2012, 5:36pm; Reply: 13
I get mine done at the breast center at Faulkner Hospital in Boston, a renowned breast center.  I started going when my 40 year old next door neighbor (I was about the same age) died of breast cancer.  I also went with another friend when she was diagnosed with DCIS (ductile cancer in situ I think) so that she could have another set of ears listening to her options.  Definitely not something that could have been felt.
The newest ones are digital and really do save lives.  Wouldn't hurt to have a baseline and then it you don't want to go every year or two you could figure out what schedule you are comfortable with.
Posted by: Goldie, Thursday, October 25, 2012, 11:14pm; Reply: 14
Yes to all.. I will decide step by step what I will do.. follow up in a few weeks or 3 month - if I feel a need sooner, then I will go directly.. Surgery for me is no issue.. Chemo? I would go alternative.... but I would never tell others what to think or do..

I most surely would start MMS..  No comments needed here..

It is a believe system to each his or her own.. and the reason for this thread was to point to my first one.. the method of looking or feeling for changes.. deep under the breast tissue.. for man and woman..    

To all all the best..  ;D
Posted by: Jennihul, Saturday, October 27, 2012, 10:18pm; Reply: 15
Some invasive cancers (the ones whose cells have already escaped and can cause death) are no bigger than a pea or lentil. Size of the breast cancer does not determine it's deadliness, though finding them early CAN strongly influence your survival.

The thing about mammograms is this: any photon of radioactivity from the sun or your granite counter tops or that banana you just ate or flying in a plane can be THE ONE that shoots through a piece of your DNA, damages it and eventually leads to a deadly cancer. But you live with levels of radioactivity every second of everyday. You'll never know, really, which one did you in if that was to be your fate.

The studies done for decades on mammography, half a century really, show no correlation between having mammograms and a higher rate of getting or dying from breast cancer. But skipping mammograms does have a correlate to poorer survival rates when cancer is eventually found.

It's important to be conscious of minimizing the doses of medical xrays you get but if you go to such an extreme as to ignore proven tools that can literally mean the difference between life and death, then you have to spend your last few years suffering and saying "I guess I should have..."

For me, at least, that is not acceptable.
Posted by: Goldie, Sunday, October 28, 2012, 12:18pm; Reply: 16
I had so many x-rays (teeth/back/stomach/neck) I ought to light up and still I am OK!

Mammograms once every so often is no issue for me..

The doctor a surgeon wanted to do needle biopsies on the areas HE had found in his method of looking for hard areas under the breast tissue, but so far I declined..

I will keep a clear eye on the situation.. I think we should be vigilant.. I was surprised at his method of touch-search.. I wish that to be the lesson here.

I have so far no issue with waiting and seeing later.. but by no means would I advise others to do the same.. I think each person is responsible for his or her own 'search, review and follow through.

Prevention is best, BTD is good for that, awareness serves a purpose, and ongoing vigilance is important..

THE fact that my Swami changed in some areas dramatically!!!! makes me wonder if I should just stay on that diet regimen ??????or take the designated question of cancer off again.. ????

Interestingly!!! I always attributed moms cancer survival to eating apples.. she was B..

I am O and so apples where avoid for many years.. BUT NOW ON THE CURRENT WITH cancer swami-- apples are neutral... I will look for other items that have changed and post here with the same question.. should I now incorporate those items as PREVENTION>>> !?  ??)

several cheeses NOW  added to my (cancer) diet  ::)  fascinating..
Cottage Cheese
Ghee, Clarified Butter ◊
Manchego Cheese ◊
Paneer Cheese
Parmesan Cheese ◊
Pecorino Cheese ◊
Quark Cheese
Romano Cheese ◊

Neutral now
Farmer, Ricotta, Romanian Urda.... Interesting switches...

Ghee, Clarified Butter ◊
Parmesan Cheese ◊
Pecorino Cheese ◊
Quark Cheese
Romano Cheese ◊

Neutral Before
Cottage Cheese
Farmer Cheese
Manchego Cheese
Paneer Cheese
Ricotta Cheese
Romanian Urda

Printing all Swami diets out as one makes big changes might well be worth every effort.. but it is somewhat difficult.. It takes many calestentics.. but worth keeping for future reference .. if one made changes.

I have so many questions.. yet even taking the answers at face value is better than any standard diet suggestions..

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