Hello, Warriors! We hope you’re doing well and thriving! Welcome to The Breast Place blog, where we cover a range of topics from breast cancer management to skin care treatments to women’s health. We’re committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! Check out our previous posts about mask-related acne and teach your daughters how to perform a self-exam! Be sure to check back in for more information you need to live your best life!
Today, we’ll be detailing the effect of water on your skin. Whether you’re drinking water or washing your face with it, water plays a vital role in allowing our bodies to function properly. We’ve all been inundated with “remember to drink water’ posts and perhaps you’ve even started to incorporate water consumption into your daily routine. However, the type of water you drink and use on your body can have effects on your skin you didn’t intend for. We’ll go over the benefits of drinking an adequate amount of water, as well as which types of water you should avoid to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy!
Benefits of Drinking Water
According to the ‘Natural Mineral Waters: Chemical Characteristics and Health Effects,’ a scientific paper studying the benefits of mineral water on the body, “water is involved in many body functions, since it serves as a carrier of nutrients and substances in the circulatory system. Furthermore, it is a vehicle to excrete products, eliminate waste and toxins, and it also lubricates joints. However, there is no efficient mechanism of the body's water storage; therefore, a constant supply of fluids is needed to keep water content.” (Quattrini).
Drinking an adequate amount of water can help to tighten skin, maintain your body’s natural pH balance, flush toxins, retain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles, as well as reduce breakouts and the appearance of dark circles. All of that, you say? Yes! And more.
Allowing your body to become dehydrated is detrimental not only to your skin, but also all of your other body functions. Now you’re aware of the importance of drinking plenty of water daily, the next question is...
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day
How much water you consume on a daily basis varies depending on a set of personal factors, including: metabolism, weight, height, and daily activity. While some medical professionals recommend an all-encompassing five to eight glasses a day, others ask you to do a bit of math to determine the appropriate amount of daily water consumption. The formula takes your weight in pounds and divides it in half. The resulting number is how many ounces of water you should consume per day. For example, a two-hundred pound man would drink one-hundred ounces of water per day.
Different Aspects of Water and How They Affect Your Skin
Water may seem simple at first glance. Water is water, right? Well, not quite.
Consider the water aisle at your local grocery store. There are multiple different brands and all manner of different kinds of water available for consumption. We’re here to tell you some of those types are better for your skin, both orally and topically.
Let’s begin with the one most of us have access to in our homes--tap water. Tap water is cheap and widely available, making it the most convenient option for the general population to both drink and wash with. However, as we’ve seen on the news in past years, tap water may not always be the best to drink. Tap water can contain plastic particles, lead, pesticide residue, aluminum, and other contaminants we don’t want circulating through our systems. Extra toxins can and will have an effect on our skin. Therefore, you might want to consider investing in a filtration system to filter out the microscopic contaminants present in tap water. Purified water—water which has been chemically treated to be safe to drink—may be an option for your drinking water as well, but we’ll discuss later why it may not be the best option for your skin.
As well, tap water has a pH of about 7, which is considered neutral. Tap water can run more alkaline, in certain areas. Our skin has a natural pH of about 5 (ideally, 4.7), which is slightly acidic. When our skin is left unwashed for at least twenty-four hours, it generally dips below a 5 on the pH-scale. This pH contributes to what’s known as our acid mantle, which is essential for our skin’s health and health. The acidity of our skin allows resident bacteria to continue living on the skin, but makes the skin inhospitable to other types of bacteria. Breakdowns in the acid mantle can lead to acne and infections. Alkaline soaps and water (such as tap water) can raise the pH of your skin for a temporary period and potentially interrupt the acid mantle. Skin that’s too alkaline is dry, tight, and dull. Meanwhile, skin that’s too acidic is greasy, irritated, and overly sensitive.
As an alternative to tap water, you might choose to drink and wash your face with distilled water. Distilled water is tap water that has been boiled and had its steam collected. This steaming process leaves behind contaminants and is a great option if you don’t trust your tap water. Distilled water, lacking minerals, can sometimes pull minerals from your body and teeth. However, its pH is close to 5, meaning distilled water won’t bring up the pH balance of your skin. That’s why it’s recommended you use distilled water for your skin and drink mineral water instead.
Mineral water is collected from select springs and contains a host of beneficial minerals. Defined as “microbiologically wholesome,” mineral water must be absent of the main contamination factors (e.g. parasites, E. Coli, fecal matter) at the time of collection and marketing. Below is a list of some minerals found in mineral water and how they benefit your body:
Many of these minerals aid in digestion. Digestion plays an important role in the appearance of our skin. Good digestion helps eliminate toxins from the body and reduce inflammation. When our digestive system isn’t operating effectively, our bodies struggle to absorb nutrients and toxins can reintegrate into our systems, then express through our skin.
Not every bottle of mineral water will contain all of these macro and micronutrients. As well, mineral water can be expensive. As well, you should be able to acquire the necessary quantities of these nutrients through a balanced diet. The alternative, spring water (which also contains minerals) isn’t always tested and may contain health risks. Therefore, a combination of drinking mineral water and using distilled (reverse osmosis) water on your face should give you everything you need—both inside and out—to keep your skin looking its best.
Remember to tone after using an acidic or alkaline cleanser to restore your skin to its natural pH balance. Additionally, avoid spending too much time in chlorinated water.
Another important factor you need to consider is the hardness of your tap water. Hard water contains soap scum—dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium—which leaves a thin layer of residue on the skin even after washing with soap. This residue can clog pores and lead to breakouts, as well as worsen skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Hard water can dry skin out and prevent our natural oils from doing their job of conditions and softening our skin. All of this drying can lead to premature aging. If that wasn’t bad enough, those impurities present in hard water can form free radicals which damage healthy skin cells, causing the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have an irritated scalp or dandruff, hard water may be making the issue worse. Hard water has been found to be an environmental trigger of eczema.
Soft water, on the other hand, lacks these mineral deposits. Therefore, soft water is gentler on your skin and won’t trigger skin condition flare-ups. Soft water won’t give you the telltale “squeaky clean” feeling hard water will give after a shower, but that’s a positive. Clean skin should feel slick and slippery, not tight. Hard water actually has a difficult time bonding to soap and forming a lather, which makes it less effective when cleansing the body.
If you suspect your water is too hard, you can do a water hardness test to confirm your suspicions. Then, if you were correct, invest in a new showerhead which filters hard water or applies a softening agent. As well, rinsing your skin with acidic water (i.e. ionized water or heavily diluted apple cider vinegar) can remove some of the residue from hard water still present on your skin after washing.
Though you may love hot showers or extol the benefits of a cold shower, the optimal temperature for extended exposure to water is lukewarm. Water that’s too hot can irritate and strip the skin. There’s no harm in splashing your face in cold water or taking a cold shower every once in a while. In fact, we’re sure you’ve read about the benefits of doing this. However, the safest bet every time is lukewarm water.
There you have it! Everything you need to know about how the water you drink and use can affect your skin, in a nutshell. We hope this information leads to noticeable improvements in your skin. And, one last time, drink your water!
Here at The Breast Place we offer a list of facial rejuvenation services, including Excel V+ (vascular laser), Secret RF (micro-needling with radio frequency), dermal fillers, and Botox. Facial rejuvenation can address concerns such as excessive redness, uneven texture, and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. We also have Dr. Des Fernandes, a skincare expert and founder of Environ Skincare, on-hand to help you with any other skin concerns you may have. Reach out for a consultation. We look forward to helping you achieve your best skin! Until next time, thank you for reading!
Hello, Warriors! How are you doing today? We here at The Breast Place hope you’re enjoying the long days of constant sunshine midsummer has to offer. Whether you’re at the beach with your family or basking in your backyard, remember to slather on a thick layer of your favorite sunscreen!
Today, our aim is to impress upon each of our readers the importance of teaching your daughters how to perform a breast self-exam and how you might go about having such a conversation. We understand these sorts of things can be tricky. It’s our professional opinion: preparation is the pangea to anxiety in situations such as this one. Equipped with knowledge, you can answer any questions your daughter might have about why breast self-exams are necessary and how to perform one herself. This exchange doesn’t have to be awkward. In fact, we hope with the information in this article, both you and your daughter will walk away from the conversation feeling confident and empowered.
On the Importance of Self-Examination
A breast self-exam (BSE) is, as the name suggests, a self-performed examination of one’s own chest area. The area underneath one’s armpits is also included in a self examination.
The chief benefit of self-exams are their potential to alert women to the presence of lumps and masses in their breasts which might be cancerous. Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancer cases are first detected by women who felt a lump. Early awareness is a key factor in determining survival rates in cases involving non-metastatic invasive breast cancer. Sixty-three percent of women are diagnosed while the cancer is still contained within the breast and of these women, the five-year survival rate is ninety-nine percent. However, young women—ages 15 to 39—are less likely to be diagnosed within this early stage because regular breast cancer screenings don’t begin until age forty for most.
The chance of women under forty developing breast cancer is only five percent. However minimal this risk factor may seem, it is still a risk. Therefore, teaching your daughters how to perform self-exams is vital.
Knowing One’s Own Body
The secondary benefit of performing regular self-exams might be the more universal of the two. We all need to have at least a basic understanding of our bodies. Performing regular breast self-exams can help your daughter to become familiar with her own physicality. Doctors recommend young women conduct self-exams less for the chance they’ll find a cancerous mass and more to have a solid understanding of what’s “normal” for them. Only by having a baseline of what your breasts look and feel like can young people identify when something has changed.
Now, you’re ready to have “the talk.” You don’t necessarily have to plan out what you’re going to say. In fact, it’s better if you don’t! You don’t want anything to sound too scripted. This is a natural topic of conversation between you and your daughter. Therefore, it’s always better to keep things casual.
When and Where
As with any in-depth conversation, you want to choose your moment. On a broader scale, this comes down to when—in your daughter’s timeline of development—you choose to have this conversation. While some doctors don’t recommend starting breast exams until you’re at least twenty and fully developed, others recommend beginning self-exams as soon as puberty. In this aspect, you must gauge the maturity of your child. Will they participate in this sort of conversation or plug their ears and run away? If it’s the latter, you might want to wait until they’re a bit more mature to have this conversation.
On a smaller scale, when to have this conversation depends on external factors. Environment. Time-of-day. Even whether or not your child has eaten. For the optimal retention of information, you’ll want to choose a day when your child is well-rested. Choose a private location for this conversation, as well. Though there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, no one wants an audience when they're talking about intimate parts of their bodies.
Do Your Research
Knowledge is your friend. Don’t go into the conversation unprepared. Chances are, your daughter will have questions about things. If you’re confused about certain aspects of the self-exam, you’ll only transfer your confusion onto her. Make sure you’re able to answer the most common questions.
How often should I be performing a self-exam? Once a month.
When should I perform the exam? At least a week after your last period. This allows any swelling of the breasts to lessen before the exam.
Where should I perform an exam? Self-exams can be performed standing up or lying down. They’ll want to add in the assistance of a mirror (when standing) in order to visually inspect the breasts. Doctors no longer recommend performing self-exams in the shower.
What should I be looking for? You’re looking for any lumps, bumps, hard masses, dimpling, discoloration, changes in texture, or discharge.
What’s normal? Everyone’s body is different. Therefore, there is no basic definition for normal. You’ll have to develop your own definition after multiple self-exams. Uneven breasts aren’t necessarily an indication of something being wrong. Likewise, stretchmarks (lighter or darker toned striations where the skin has stretched) are no cause for concern. What you want to keep an eye out for is major differences between the breasts (i.e. deformations or dimpling) and other sudden changes in the feel and appearance of your breasts.
How do I perform a self-exam?
This part of the conversation depends on your level of comfortability. You can either verbally explain what to do or physically demonstrate using hand motions or combine a mixture of both methods. You can also print out a self-exam guide on the National Breast Cancer organization website.
Stand in front of a mirror. With your arms by your side, visually assess your chest area. You’re looking for noticeable changes in contour, dimpling, discoloration or strange texture. Next, raise your arms above your head. Continue your visual examination. Next, place your arms on your hips and press to flex your pectoral muscles. Continue your visual examination, searching for major differences in the usual appearance of your breasts.
Lying Down Self-Exam
Lie down with a pillow placed under the shoulder of the breast you’re examining. Lift the arm on the side of the breast you’re examining until your bicep is beside your ear. Use the three middle fingers of your opposite hand (i.e. ring, middle, index) to make a flat surface. Using the flat surface of the pads of your fingers, palpate the entire breast area, including the armpit. You can use varying degrees of pressure. You can use an up-down motion, make circles, or radiate your palpitation outward from the nipple. Finally, squeeze each nipple to check for blood or discharge.
After the Talk
What happens after the talk is just as important as the actual conversation. At this point, your child will go off to process the information and perform a self-examination alone. Especially in the beginning, self-examinations can be the catalyst of worry. This next section will help you handle the emotions which might come up as a result of a self-exam.
Self-exams shouldn’t be a source of anxiety. In fact, they’re a wonderful tool for assuaging anxiety. Self-exams cannot rule out the possibility of having breast cancer. To rule out any foreign masses, you or your child would need to have a mammogram performed by a doctor. However, self-exams give us a small amount of power in the knowledge they imbue. With an understanding of our own body and what’s “normal” for us, we’re equipped to notice when something goes awry.
And, even when something does go awry, it’s not always a reason to panic. Eight out of ten lumps are not cancerous. They can be cysts or benign tumors or even just particularly dense sections of breast tissue.
Self-exams take five to ten minutes and only need to be completed once a month. As women, we have a responsibility to ourselves to check in with our own bodies. This is how we manage our health. Fear is most often born out of a lack of knowledge. With regular self-exams, we’re collecting knowledge about ourselves and managing our fear.
Assuage and Anticipate
Even equipped with the proper knowledge and relevant statistics, self-exams can bring up a lot of guessing and wondering. In the weeks or months following your conversation, check-in with your daughter. Of course, gauge her willingness to continue the conversation first. You might ask her how she’s feeling about her self-exams. Does she have any questions? Even if you’re not able to answer her questions and concerns, you can both take a trip to the doctor’s office and learn about breast health together.
Discussing your daughter’s health care concerns doesn’t have to be done alone. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help assuage any fears which might arise after beginning self-exams. That’s why The Breast Place offers consultations concerning breast pain, breast lumps or masses, abcesses and nipple discharge. Our physicians can show you and your daughter how to properly perform a self-exam and run family history risk assessments to see if you’re genetically predisposed to certain forms of breast cancer.
If you or your daughter do encounter a lump, don’t panic. Instead, schedule an appointment as soon as you’re able. The Breast Place offers several breast imaging services, including: mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs. Whether you have dense breast tissue or have had an abnormal mammogram, we can assist you in deciding what the next step in your healthcare journey should be and facilitate the necessary care. We’re here to help!
Good morning Warriors and welcome back to The Breast Place’s blog! We hope you’ve been recuperating these past few weeks and are up and at’em today! If you’re new here though, I’d like to take a moment to introduce ourselves.
We are The Breast Place; a team of individuals in Charleston, SC that aim to assist with treatment, management, and after care for health challenges men and women face such as breast cancer, body contouring, scar revisions, wrinkles, and general education. Breast cancer management and treatment is one of our more significant services, as you could probably tell from our name, but empowering women is our focus!
Since our team here specializes in both malignant and benign breast disease, we wanted to take some time to describe what breast cancer management and treatment looks like to the common person. Life is challenging alone, and when you throw breast cancer in the mix it can sometimes seem impossible- but don’t worry, you’re not alone. We’re here to listen and support you in your fight against breast cancer, every step of the way.
So, what are some common breast cancer management methods or breast cancer treatments? Well, breast cancer can be treated in many ways and it all comes down to what kind of cancer it is and how much it has spread to other areas in your body. Most times, people with breast cancer may get a combination of treatment methods to help them win the fight with this disease.
Common treatment options for breast cancer are:
Surgery is typically known as the simpler approach where doctors and surgeons cut out the cancerous tissue directly. Chemotherapy is most commonly associated with cancer treatments these days, but the way it works is by shrinking or killing cancer cells. This medicinal treatment can sometimes be pills or intravenously. Hormone therapy essentially practices preventing the cancer cells from getting the hormones they would need to grow by blocking that off. Biological therapy empowers your immune system to fight the cancer cells more effectively, and can also be used to manage the side effects from other treatments listed. Last but not least, radiation therapy utilizes high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells over time.
Though these are the professional and medical treatments for breast cancer, what happens when the treatments are over and you go home? Breast cancer management is more than just your regular doctor’s appointment, there are things to take note and care of when those treatments are all said and done. These professional treatments may help send the cancer into remission or manage it well, but unpleasant side effects are not uncommon.
With any combination of the listed breast cancer treatments, your body is putting up a fight! It’s important to acknowledge that and take care of yourself as much as possible. Become the epitome of ‘self care’ during these times, and remember to be gentle with yourself. Some side effects you may experience after breast cancer treatments are fatigue, headaches, pain, menopausal symptoms, memory loss, and poor sleep. Give your body what it needs to heal itself and keep going by taking a look at this list of self care ideas and advice!
To take time and consideration for your mind, we recommend finding the best self care method for you! Self care is less about trendy behaviors and activities and more about what works best for you and your lifestyle. You may be an outdoorsy person where gardening, park trips, beach trips, hiking, picnics, or even just reading or drawing outside makes you happy. Or perhaps you’re an extroverted person who loves being around people! Concerts, public activities, fairs or festivals, networking, clubs, and friend/family gatherings would suit you well. Either way, your favorite hobbies are typically the best route to go when you’re needing self-care. Some of our favorite ways to indulge self care and resting your mind are spa days, massages, beach trips, and meditation!
If these things are difficult or are becoming difficult, remember to be kind to yourself as you're going through treatments and aftercare. You are a warrior and part of what makes you strong in this fight is that you’re not alone- the support structure around you made up of your friends, family, and our team here at The Breast Place are here!
Keep going and take care, Warriors!
Hello, Warriors! How are you all doing out there? We hope you’re taking the time and care you need to heal, rest, and fight! Life is slowly returning to normal out there, but we all know that the concept of what our normal was has changed. Though more and more people are getting vaccinated and being aware of the ways our world was impacted by COVID-19, there are many out there who are more comfortable with wearing masks regularly.
For some it’s because of the realizations at how easy sickness can spread and for others it is the maintained concern of lingering exposures to COVID. Wearing masks consistently though can be very rough on your face and skin.
Wash your mask!
Our skins’ pores naturally release sweat and oils throughout the day to retain body temperature and a healthy system. Because of this, it’s recommended to wash your clothes regularly, and a common practice is to wear an outfit for a day and then wash. We all know the laundry drill, right?
Well, with more and more people wearing cloth masks regularly, it stands to reason that we should be paying attention to that piece of clothing too! Regularly switching out and washing your cloth masks is our top recommendation when it comes to taking care of the skin on your face while wearing masks, but there are so many others we wanted to share with you today! Being mindful of the action of wearing your mask and how it affects your skin care is important as well in order to prevent damage to your skin or sickness!
Chafing & Inflammation
Wearing face masks can do damage to your skin even when it’s clean!
If your mask is too tight for example, or if you wear it consistently throughout the day, the friction and chafing it can cause on your skin can be a lot like rug burn. The areas most at risk for this kind of discomfort are the areas behind your ears that typically ‘hold’ your mask back, and the bridge of your nose. Hospital workers and nurses have found solutions for some of this discomfort by using monkeys from the typical ‘Barrel of Monkeys’ kids toy to hold the straps against the back of their head instead of on their ears. If you try this and it works for you too, be sure to tag us or comment below!
For those with skin sensitivities, residue from detergents and fabric softeners that linger on clothing and cloth masks can irritate your skin too! Skin irritation often looks like inflammation, redness, dry patches, peeling, or dark marks, and if you experience a pre-existing skin condition, like rosacea or dermatitis, inflammation can make it flare up.
Acne is a common skin condition you may experience from time to time due to clogged pores from sweat, dirt, and hormone changes that can also be caused by consistent wearing of cloth masks. Remember that sweat and oil that naturally secretes from your skin? Even though you may wash your mask regularly or switch it out, it takes just one clogged pore to create a typically acne bump, and then picking at it can contribute to a full breakout. Your best defense to this? Keep your mask clean, take appropriate breaks from wearing one, and consider purchasing a tightly woven, 100% cotton mask that can be effective, yet gentle on your skin!
‘Maskne’, a term coined recently for the skin condition brought on by prolonged wear of masks and coverings, is medically named acne mechanica.
Dermatologists recommend the following steps to fighting maskne and taking better care of the skin on your face:
Have you noticed your skin being more irritated, sensitive, broken out, or stressed since wearing masks more often? We hope some of the tips and advice for skin care while wearing masks were helpful to you! Please feel free to share this blog with someone who may be experiencing skin issues or discomfort related to this topic, we’d love to help!
And if you’re ever on the lookout for the perfect skin care product for you, come visit us today or take a look at our products page here on our website for more information on the wonderful skin care brands we carry! We hope this blog has served you well, Warriors! Take care of your skin and wear your masks to help take care of yourself and others.
Becoming a mother is one of the most exciting, difficult, rewarding, and beautiful things you can experience. While many parts of your journey as a new mother will have their challenges, lactation can be one of the most difficult. Let us help you with The Breast Place's lactation services!
Hello, Warriors! All of us at The Breast Place hope each of you is doing happy and well out there. We hope you also know that we are here to help and support you no matter what is happening in your life! We understand that life is challenging and we will always be here to listen, treat, and make your life more hopeful. We are so glad you've joined us today! To all of our returning warriors, thank you for your support and we hope you've found comfort, hope, and guidance in our blogs! To all of our new readers, welcome! Let us introduce ourselves a little more before we dive into today's topic about lactation! We are The Breast Place and we work hard to provide hope through wellness and beauty for women facing life's continued challenges. Our team specializes in both malignant and benign breast disease. As a team, we work together with you, educating, treating, and caring for you. We will also grow with you as you change, age, and survive offering self-confidence with scar revision and body contouring, and physical wellness. We offer skincare treatments like resurfacing and rejuvenation using the latest laser technology to address fine lines, wrinkles, and textural issues and antiaging products to keep your skin healthy and youthful. Injectables and IV therapies are available as well!
A part of life's changes and processes that many of our warriors go through is becoming a mother, and one of the most common issues that so many go through is troubles with lactation. Here at The Breast Place, our providers are not only lactation specialists, they have first-hand knowledge of the difficulties of breastfeeding. If you are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding including clogged ducts, mastitis, pain, nipple bleeding or cracking, or fungal infections, please feel free to contact us for a consultation, a latch evaluation, education, and support. Today, we are going to be talking a little bit more about lactation and the difficulties many face while breastfeeding, sharing a little insight on what can cause these issues, and how you can help improve them while waiting to come see us!
The decision to breastfeed your child is a very personal one, and we are here to support and respect your choice. However, if you are wanting to breastfeed, that is today's topic of conversation and this blog is for you! Breastfeeding your child is incredibly healthy, providing them with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that your baby needs. However, it can take a minute for both mom and baby to get the hang of it. So please mamas, don't worry or fret if this journey hasn't been the easiest. It is very common and you are not alone in these struggles.
Today, we are going to give you some insight on how to make this process a little easier and to avoid as many of these situations as possible. Thankfully with our guidance and what we are going to be talking about today, we can help both you and your baby get through any difficulties you face, together. While you may not experience every difficulty that we will be mentioning today, don't think that it will be a perfect ride, either.
These are just some of the common lactation and breastfeeding hurdles and issues many women deal with during their first or through every pregnancy. As we've stated before, you might experiences some or just one of these issues, but all of them are common and there are plenty of ways to deal with each issue to help comfort you and your baby. Each healing step is there to help make the breastfeeding process special and enjoyable for both you and your baby. We are here to help you with the whole process. You are not alone, and we are here for you and your baby when you need us most! Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is five months away still, we try to educate and spread awareness as much as we can all year round. Today, we are going to be talking about self-breast examinations and everything you need to know about them!
Hello warriors, readers, patients, and friends! We are so glad you're joining us today for our first blog of May! It is a new season, a new spring, a new time in Charleston, and all of it comes with a new sense of hope and strength within it. We hope each of you reading this today feels that feeling with us, and we hope you know that no matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help and support you. First and foremost, we are here to help empower our amazing patients and to help them through their diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. This will never be a path you walk alone. We also offer many specialized services right here in our Charleston offices including abnormal breast imaging, family history and genetic testing, oncoplastic surgery, scar revision, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser hair removal, lactation, and much more. If you're looking for the premier breast specialists in Charleston, SC, you've found us!
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is still officially five months away, we try to honor it every day by spreading awareness, talking about the realities of breast cancer for women of all ages, and trying to use every opportunity we can to educate everyone we meet. Today, in honor of this idea, we are going to be talking about self-breast exams; what they are, the best way to go about giving yourself the best exam, and some common myths you might not know! For those new to The Breast Place, welcome! We are here to support you and your breasts at every stage of your life. We've mentioned this in past blogs, but self-breast exams can be one of the most successful first steps in preventing cancer and catching it in its early stages. Self-breast exams are important for women throughout their lives but can be extremely beneficial for younger women with very thick breast tissue. Having thick breast tissue can make it almost impossible for a mammogram to work on women younger than 40. In many situations, self-breast exams can be one of the only ways that cancer can be caught in women younger than 40, and can be an amazing lifesaver. At The Breast Place, we perform clinical breast exams, family history risk assessment, breast ultrasounds, biopsies including fine needle aspirations, and needle core biopsies in the office. However, sometimes your overall experience and reason why you find us at The Breast Palace can begin with a self-breast examination. Today, we will be focusing on self-breast exams so you can successfully carry out this life-saving procedure on yourself!
What Is A Self Breast Exam?
As it is stated in its name, a self-breast exam is an at-home self-inspection of your beasts to see if there are any changes or abnormalities that have appeared within your breasts. The best way to do a fully successful breast exam is to use both your eyes and hands to determine if there are any changes to the overall feel and look of your breasts. If you do see any changes, it is best to speak to your doctor right away. Please note that, according to the Mayo Clinic, that almost all changes found during a self-breast exam for your breasts appear due to benign causes. However, this never means that you should ignore any changes that might appear. It means you still need to share this information with your doctor and have them determine what should happen next. It is still possible that some changes may mean something serious, like breast cancer.
Why Should I Give Myself Self Breast Exams?
While breast cancer to this day is still considered something that is only found in women who have gone through menopause, we need to break that stigma! Giving yourself self-breast exams and understanding their importance can help with this! A self-exam or even just examining your breasts on your own can be a huge help with discovering cancer early. This can mean that if cancer is caught and treated earlier, it is more likely to be treated successfully! When self-exams are paired with regular physical exams, they can help make a huge impact on your life and safety. Also remember that giving yourself a breast exam costs you nothing but a little time, and that time is well worth spending on yourself!
How Do I Give Myself A Self Breast Examination?
Now that you know a little bit more about self-breast exams and why they are so important, it's time to understand how best to go about giving yourself a breast exam. This way they can be as efficient, effective, and successful as possible.
What To Expect From A Self Breast Exam
While reading about how to give yourself a self-breast exam may teach you how to do it, that doesn't mean you know exactly what to expect or what it might feel like. Here are a few more extra tips and pieces of insight that might make the whole process a little easier and help prepare you a little more.
Myths About Self Breast Exams & More
Just like we've debunked many different things on our blogs before, there are myths about self-breast exams and other related topics that need to be debunked too. The list below is full of myths to avoid and not worry about while going through your life and caring for your breasts. However, if you do have any questions or concerns even after reading this list and the whole blog, please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with us!
Warriors, fight your battles and be strong while doing so. You have the tools now to begin the battle and to keep yourself as prepared and ahead of the diagnosis as possible. Your health is in your hands, quite literally. Please take the time to dedicate a self-breast exam to your schedule every month. In the long run, it might be the biggest key in catching the first sign or stages of cancer that could appear in your body! Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.
While October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, April is National Cancer Control Month. As we finish out this month and head closer to summer, we wanted to talk a little bit more about this month, its focus, and what you can do to help spread awareness!
Hello readers, warriors, and friends! Welcome back to the Breast Place's blog! October, as you know, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While we try to treat every month as Breast Cancer Awareness Month to educate, support, and spread as much information and awareness as we can, we still need your help and support to achieve our goals. While April might not solely focus on breast cancer, it is still one of the many forms of Cancer that are discussed and included in this month's awareness. Many of our new readers and those still adjusting to their diagnosis may also be new to the idea of National Cancer Control Month. What is cancer control? According to cancer.org, cancer control and the month of April helps bring awareness about and focus on reducing the number of individuals who get cancer, end up with complications from their diagnosis, and who die from it. "It uses approaches that have been tested through research to control the number of cancer cases as well as the effect of cancer". This month's whole goal of cancer control is to prevent cancer, reduce the risk of cancer, detect cancer sooner, improve all cancer treatments, help more people who are diagnosed with cancer survive, and improve the quality of life for those who have cancer. Another goal of cancer control is to help with the overall effects and burden cancer puts on your life and how it affects your community, your family, and you!
April became National Cancer Control month in 1938. Declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for over 83 years the month of April has been dedicated to raising awareness for all forms of cancer and to support its treatment and cure throughout the United States. Thanks to years of hard work and the push to better educate our citizens here in the US, the death toll from cancer did see a steady decline when National Cancer Control month was created. This education and awareness have been dedicated to teaching how to prevent certain cancers, how to recognize signs and symptoms, and how to find proper treatment. At the time that National Cancer Control was created, so many men and women didn't know what symptoms to look for and they didn't know who to turn to for help. While many would go to their local doctors, they weren't aware of many specialists that existed to help them prevent and recover from any cancer they might have been suffering from.
To this day, one of the most effective ways to help prevent almost all cancers or to catch them in their earliest stages is with screenings. The screening will help detect precancerous cells and provide early treatment to hopefully catch and eliminate the found cancer before it becomes any kind of serious problem. One of the most common and easy screened cancers is breast cancer, thanks to breast imaging like yearly mammograms for women ages 40 and older.
The battle to fight for cancer in the US truly began as our country was also fighting in WWII. Thanks to President Roosevelt who viewed the diseases as deadly as the enemy we were fighting overseas, cancer awareness finally became a solid reality. While it is something that we are all very aware of now, this hasn't always been the case. While almost all Americans knew and paid close attention to the enemies we were fighting overseas during WWII, far fewer knew the dangers of cancer, and many didn't even realize how serious cancer was. Roosevelt changed this with his declaration of Cancer Control Month. At the time, according to the National Foundation for Cancer Research, cancer was claiming almost 150,000 American lives every year, many of these cases could have been stopped or prevented with regular checkups, care, and education. When Roosevelt declared April as National Cancer Control Month, he called upon the media, school, universities, medical professionals, and many more to help him with this endeavor. While this was a powerful campaign and has been since it began, cancer and its burdens are still affecting millions of Americans every year. Due to the continued rise of cases, the month of April has shifted its focus into five different categories.
This year, the president made a declaration to the nation regarding National Cancer Control Month, and along with the 83 years it has been around, this year is also the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act of 1971. This legislation pushed our nation to really commit to cancer research, established a network of cancer centers, advanced research, clinical trials, and data collection systems. Without this landmark legislation, many breakthroughs against cancer that have happened in recent years might not have occurred. He also made note that due to the pandemic, many disruptions were made to cancer care including routine screenings, therapy, diagnosis, and much more. With National Cancer Control Month on its way out and the covid-19 vaccine on its way in, please do not delay any future treatments, screening, or doctor visits. Now is the time to get back to how to control cancer so it doesn't control us. While we have made exceptional advances against cancer, there is still much to be done. If anything, national cancer control month does an excellent job of reminding us how much we've accomplished and how much farther we still need to go.
While we all continue to do our part to educate and spread awareness throughout April and every single month throughout the year, this month can be a little overwhelming and make us all feel defeated. When this happens, the best thing to do is to focus on the positive, and focus on what we can do and not on what we still can't. This month is dedicated to uniting us all thanks to the power of knowledge. Help spread the word and get involved. If you can, donate to cancer research to help improve treatment and help with the survival rate. While you might not be able to financially give back and support, there are many free ways to give back and help. One way to do that is with a free cancer prevention and early detection kit from the NFCR. This kit includes tips and suggestions on how to lower your personal chances of getting cancer, information about the different types of cancer screenings available to you, and it comes in a downloadable form so you can share it with anyone and everyone to help spread awareness. While you're in this mindset, don't forget some of the most effective ways to prevent many different types of cancer, including breast cancer, can be achieved by making small changes in your life.
Now that you know a little more about cancer control month, its power and its influence depend on people like you; those who are aware and want to share their knowledge, those dealing with all stages of diagnosis, and those who are loved ones of those going through a diagnosis. Keep talking, keep sharing, and keep giving back as much as you can! We are here to help you with all of this, so please never hesitate to reach out to us when you need us most! Don't forget, if you're looking for a women's imaging center near you, breast imaging, laser scar removal, and much more, you have found everything you need right here at The Breast Place. We are your leading professionals in Charleston to provide hope through wellness and beauty for women facing life's challenges. We specialize in malignant and benign breast disease and as a team, we work with you to educate, treat, and provide the best care we can. Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.
The connection between a healthy lifestyle and healthy breasts is incredible. Not only can it help prevent breast cancer, but it can also help increase your odds of beating the disease and not letting it come back!
Hello warriors, readers, and faithful friends! Spring is here and the taste of summer is right around the corner. We've all been getting out more and more as it becomes safer to do so and as the weather allows. There is nothing like a beautiful walk through downtown, on the beach, through one of our many state parks, or one of our many historical sites. The Lowcountry offers so much that it's just calling for us to get up and get out right now! It's also an incredible mecca for foodies and all-natural purveyors! You can find every kind of delicious meal prepared at one of our many fine dining locations or buy it fresh out of the ocean and right off the farm. Healthy lifestyle choices can help you enjoy the beautiful Lowcountry life, make you feel amazing, and it can help you prevent breast cancer, help you defeat it, and make sure it never comes back!
Breast cancer is a reality we all face. While some have a genetically higher chance of getting it than others, this silent killer doesn't discriminate. It picks and chooses at will. For those who have had breast cancer and are fighting to make sure it never returns, this battle is a constant worry. While we fight to discover a cure, there are things you can do right now, small changes in your lifestyle, to make whatever battle you might be fighting more successful. It's a tough battle, one that we try to educate everyone we possibly can about. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, affecting more than one and a half million women every year, with more than three million breast cancer survivors in the US alone right now. With numbers like that, it's an overwhelming thought if there is anything we can do to help make a difference in this battle. While there is no cancer-preventing food or specific exercise, a healthy lifestyle and many factors that go along with it correlates with being able to lower your overall risk. Any chances you can take to lower your risk are worth considering and implementing, and we are here to help you with the rest!
There are some things about our bodies and our health that are out of our control. However, when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, our health is in our hands and we have the choice and the ability to care for ourselves. As health guru, fitness trainer, and ex-Rockette Amanda Kloots says "exercising is a privilege that we have every day. Getting up and moving our bodies is a gift." Let's celebrate that we are the incredible, powerful unique women that we are and that we can help our bodies fight against cancer with small daily changes and choices. We are here for you along the way, during your fight, and after. If you would like to begin or if you have any questions about our services including family history and genetic testing, survivorship, scar revision, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser hair removal, or lactation, please contact us today! Until next time, get up and get moving. You have another day to make healthy choices!
We offer many different kinds of breast imaging services at the Breast Place to help determine the health of your breasts anytime you come into our offices. Unsure of what the whole process is and if you'll need to experience one in the future? That is what we will be talking about today!
Welcome back, readers and warriors! We are so happy you have joined us today! With this beautiful spring weather that is starting to stick around here in the Lowcountry, we hope that you've had a chance to get outside and enjoy it! Keep staying safe and protected, and remember that allergy and flu season is still here. Please be conscious of all of your choices to help continue staying happy and safe. Our last blog was dedicated to mammograms and what to expect from the whole experience. Today, we are going to go a bit deeper and focus on the next step, all of the different kinds of breast imaging that are offered and what is offered at the Breast Place.
There are multiple ways to visualize the tissue within the breast and as technology changes, recommendations for screenings change every year. If you require breast imaging services, contact us for a consultation and recommendations for what kind of imaging we believe you need. Like we discussed in our last blog, mammography uses x-rays to look at calcification within the breast tissue. The newest technology is 3D mammography, also known as tomography. This imaging is recommended yearly for preventative health. Screening mammography is typically paid for by insurance under preventative services if the covered person falls within the contracted age range, but only once per year. Diagnostic mammography is used when there is a known problem within the breast. While we don't do mammography on-site, we work with almost all facilities in the area to order, schedule, and follow up on mammograms for our patients! If you would like to learn more about mammograms, please visit our last blog at:
The whole procedure requires very little preparation on the end of the patient. Please leave any jewelry at home, and we recommend that you wear comfortable clothing for the exam. Just like a mammogram, you will be asked to undress from the waist up and wear a gown for the procedure. During the procedure, a device called a transducer is moved over your breast, and it sends out sound waves that bounce off your breast tissue. These sound waves are at too high of a frequency for you to hear during the exam. The waves that bounce back are picked up by the transducer and create a picture of the inside of your breast. Another device called a Doppler Probe can also be used during this process. This probe will let your doctor hear the sound waves that are sent out through the breast, and they will hear how fast your blood is flowing through the blood vessels in your breasts. Faint sound or no sound at all might mean that you have a blockage in the blood flow through your breast, and could require more tests to find out why this is happening.
There is more to caring for your breasts than just getting a yearly mammogram or giving yourself a monthly self-breast exam. All of us at the Breast Place want to make sure you know the extent that goes into caring for your breasts at all points in your life and what to expect once you begin getting mammograms. This knowledge can prepare you for the overall experience, what it can feel like, and what your results may or may not lead to. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us or schedule a consultation! We are here for you, warriors! Let's keep fighting together one day at a time!
While mammograms are a yearly procedure that we recommend for our patients that are in their 40's and beyond, there can still be so much mystery in what a mammogram is, how to prepare for one, and what to expect after the experience itself. Today, we are dedicating this blog to everything you need to know about the realities of a mammogram inside and out. We will also be talking about the before, during, and after process of getting one!
Hello warriors! Welcome back to the Breast Place Blog! It has been a very exciting few weeks with a visit from our friend Amanda Syfriend, making appearances at the #pinkintherink hockey game with the South Carolina Stingrays, and supporting an incredible local charity called Share our Suzy. Share our Suzy, for our readers new to the charity, helps local breast cancer patients pay for utility bills, groceries, wigs, childcare, and much more. We are constantly fighting for, supporting, and educating those who are fighting and those who could one day fight if we don't find a cure fast enough. This is one of the many reasons why we invest our time and efforts into our social media pages and our blog, we want to share and spread awareness, support our community, and do everything we can to help. We appreciate all of our readers, followers, and supporters for their love and kindness they've shown to each of these platforms, and we applaud you for helping us achieve these goals, spread our message, and help lift up our warriors and fighters. With a whole year under our belts since the pandemic has started, we are coming out exhausted in more ways than one. There is still so much unknown and we hope that as time goes on, we continue to see a light at the end of the tunnel together. Let's continue to stay safe and make safe choices for our loved ones.
Our last few blogs have been dedicated to our products and services that you can find when you visit our offices, their amazing results, and the power they can give to your self-esteem and self-confidence. Today, we are going to be circling back and talking directly about services related to breast cancer and the prevention of it. Today, we are going to be talking about mammograms. While they should become part of your regular yearly checkups once you're over the age of 40, there are still so many people who aren't getting them and so many who are unaware and unsure about what the whole process entails. Today, we are going to continue to use this platform as a tool for education to clear up any questions and confusion about mammograms, and to persuade you to get them if you're not already doing so.
Mammograms are done both for screening and diagnostic purposes. Once your doctor begins to advise you to start getting them, usually around the time you turn 40, these mammograms are used to detect any changes in the breast in women who have shown no previous signs or symptoms of cancer. This can help detect cancer before clinical signs begin. A diagnostic mammogram is used to investigate anything unusual that has appeared in a woman's breast including lumps, pain, changes in skin appearance, and more. This mammogram will include more images than a normal screening. According to the American Cancer Society, women with a normal risk of cancer should receive a mammogram every year starting at age 45 until age 54, while the Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening every two years, starting at age 50 until 74. Those with a higher risk of breast cancer will benefit from starting mammograms sooner, and it is best to speak to your doctor about when best to begin your mammogram process. During the mammogram itself, a patient's breasts will be compressed between two separate hard surfaces to help spread out the breast tissue. This will help the X-ray capture images of the breasts. Once the breasts have been compressed, an X-ray takes black and white photos of the breasts that will then be examined by your doctor for any signs of abnormalities or cancer.
If you have any more questions about mammograms and the experience of getting one, please do not hesitate to reach out! We are here to answer any questions and calm any worries. Until next time warriors, stay strong and keep fighting!