Breast Self-Exam - To Do or Not To Do?
In my thermography practice, I see many women. Most of them do not perform a monthly breast self-exam even though they admit that they should. Reasons range from being uncomfortable touching their own breasts to fear of what they might find and even not really knowing how to do it properly. For myself, I’ve always been hesitant to touch my breasts while ideating on the idea of finding cancer. That feels negative and isn’t how I want to approach my health. That’s why I was so happy to learn about breast massage. It still involves getting to know how your breasts feel and allows you to detect changes, but it’s approach is positive and loving. (For more information on breast massage, click on this link: https://www.midwestmedicalthermography.com/breast-massage).
This past weekend at the American College of Clinical Thermology’s International Conference, I had the good fortune to hear Dr. Veronique Desaulniers speak about Breast Health and Early Detection. In her presentation, she pointed out that a large percentage of breast cancers are detected by patients themselves. In fact, 43% of women self-detected their tumors. Another 13% were found during a clinical exam by the woman’s doctor. So, over half of breast cancer lumps are found by touch! Another known fact is that by the time breast cancer is detected by a mammogram, a woman will already have had the disease 6-8 years. That got me thinking that a routine breast self exam really could make a difference in early detection, especially if we are trained to discover the smallest size tumors. Dr. V then told us about the My Breast Friend training kit. It’s the same breast simulation model used to train MDs, and it’s now available to the general public. By learning what to feel for, where to feel and how to feel (correct pressure), we will all be empowered to detect small pea-sized tumors in their earliest stages. Currently, most tumors detected are the size of a ping pong ball. Where our health is concerned, size really does matter! I can’t wait to get My Breast Friend and start practicing. I’ll keep you posted and let you know how it goes.