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 Breast Cancer is something that all of our warriors experience and fight for every day, October is an opportunity to spread this awareness on an even high level and open the world's eyes to what this disease really is.
Hello, warriors! Welcome back to the blog and welcome back to part two of our blog discussing what breast cancer awareness means to us. While we are rapidly approaching the end of October and the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope you know how incredibly proud we are of each of you. We know this year's difficult situation has prevented us from doing what we all normally like to do to spread awareness, raise money, and gather with our fellow fighters, supporters, and warriors. 2020 can't cancel our hope, our fight, our journey, or the color pink. We all continue to stand in solidarity together, continue to fight together, and support one another. We know this year might be weighing heavy on you and your family, but please believe us when we say that we understand and we are with you. Please continue on your journey, continue with your fight, and continue using your story to prepare and educate others. Your fight can be a light in the darkness for others and for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Have you been feeling at a loss this month, that you haven't found your voice in this battle, that you're not giving back enough or doing enough? Don't be discouraged. Your voice and everything you're doing every day speaks volumes. To help give our own bit of help and support for the rest of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, we wanted to create a blog on how to make everyday Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Your voice, your journey, and how you choose to handle and battle your diagnosis is a testament in itself. Even if you aren't particularly vocal or you don't share your experience in a blog or through social media, that doesn't mean your journey doesn't impact others. When you go in for your treatments, consider the people sitting around you. This could be their very first or very last treatment. A kind smile, sharing your experiences with them, or just being a positive presence within this little snapshot of time can cause a ripple effect to those battling around you. How youR battle progresses also doesn't go unnoticed by your doctor or nurses. They find comfort, inspiration, and drive from how hard you fight and in the relationship you build together.
Your journey and battle can bring you closer to your loved ones than ever before and can create a bond that you never expected. How you live in your survivorship and how you share your experiences with a new friend or coworker leaves an impression too. Don't think you have to shout from the rooftops and put yourself in the spotlight if you don't want to. Every step of your journey affects someone. If you want to be public about your experience, that is a welcomed expression too. Writing a blog, documenting your experiences on Facebook or Instagram, being a mentor to someone recently diagnosed, participating in group meetings, and more can also help others and raise awareness. No matter how you chose to share and express your experience, both are just as important and beneficial as the other.
There are many steps you and your loved ones can take to promote awareness throughout the entire year, here are some tips and suggestions to make that possible.
We know that your voice is important. Each of your individual stories is worth telling, saving, and sharing. We know that awareness and what we need to cure breast cancer isn't at the level that it deserves and what it should be. Every day we are fighting to make your voices louder, the cure closer, and helping to educate the world about this horrible disease. While so much of the world just sees Breast Cancer Awareness Month as pink ribbons and fundraisers, we see your stories, your pain, your frustrations, and all that you go through every day. Let us stand together to make Breast Cancer Awareness month more than just a month, and finally beat this disease once and for all.
Every day is breast cancer awareness month, but October is when we all turn pink. During this month, we celebrate those who have fought, those who have lost, and those who stand beside us. One day at a time, we are trying to save as many lives as possible!
Hello, warriors! As you know, October has dawned and brought in Breast Cancer Awareness month. We know this is a daily fight and battle for you and your loved ones, but October brings your reality into the light of the rest of the world. You finally get the attention you deserve, and you really get to share the truth about breast cancer and how truly devastating it is right in front of the eyes of the public. We wish breast cancer, the need for a cure, and the battle you all fight could get this kind of attention every day and every month. Since we only have one month, we are going to make the most of it. It's time to educate, spread the world, and share your truth. Remember that we see you, we support you, we hear you, and we will be here for you every step of your battle!
According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, 115 lives are lost to metastatic breast cancer every day, and 2 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. What's even more shocking than those numbers is the fact that each of these statistics is still a surprise to millions of people every day. It's still a shock that it is more common to be diagnosed with cancer before you turn 40 than most people realize, and it is still possible to be diagnosed with cancer during your pregnancy. While these are all topics we have touched on many times in our blogs, across our social media, and as much as we possibly can in our offices, it's still not enough. That is why we must continue to raise awareness every day.
This is the perfect time to use your voice and your story to educate others in realizing their chances of getting breast cancer and what signs they need to be looking for. Use your survivorship to spread the word about early education and to promote self-breast exams from a young age. While this is a battle that you wage every day, when October rolls around, it's time to turn that fight in a new direction. The world needs to hear your stories and your truth, and you deserve to be heard. October goes beyond wearing pink. We are finally getting the opportunity to fight publicly and with the public's attention. To all of our warriors, we are so sorry that you don't get this kind of support and attention every day, and every month, you deserve it. Your fight and the struggles your family goes through every day deserves to be more than a trending hashtag for 31 days that casually gets overlooked by Halloween. Let us join together to change this and continue to spread information out into the world together, and to finally cure this horrible and devastating disease!
While we are standing strong together spreading awareness and teaching about the importance of early detection, what else can we do this month and beyond to make the most out of breast cancer awareness month, outside of wearing our pink tags? Obviously, because of the current pandemic, this year might look a little different. We might not be able to gather like we have been used to. We might not be able to cheer each other on or walk for our loved ones in person or in big crowds, but that doesn't mean you can't make the most of this month and still support the future of the breast cancer cure. We have been doing our research and listening to all of you on how we can continue to support one another. One of the first resources we stumbled upon was Breast Cancer Now. This incredible foundation, set in the UK, will give you an incredible outside look at what the world is doing to help all of us achieve our common goal of curing breast cancer. They have an incredible social media presence and an incredible website. In years past, we might not have been able to attend some of their events, but the silver lining is that thanks to the wonders of the internet and needing to stay home for our safety - we can join together and be a stronger community than ever before. Make sure to visit their website by following the link below!
They also have two very important and inspiring ways of getting involved in your community that were so inspiring to us that we had to share. These fantastic ideas are all things that you can do right now here in the US and that will both be a wonderful addition to our fight this month and beyond. These events are all inspired by their "press play" platform, and we just think it's outstanding. So let's sit back and press play together!
Have you been feeling like you're not giving back enough, doing enough, or that you haven't found the right voice of action for your personal path? That's okay! This month we are going to continue to share more ideas on how all of our warriors and their loved ones can give back, keep fighting, and how to bring awareness into everyday life - and not just in October! Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
Sometimes your breasts can ache or hurt, and the cause behind them can be a multitude of strange and unknown reasons. We will be exploring all of this today!
Hello, warriors! Today we are going to be talking about breast pain. While we are on high alert to breast abnormalities and lumps that appear in the breast sometimes overnight, not all breast pain is caused by or linked to breast cancer. It is of course, very important to stay very aware of this pain, and if it continues. As we've mentioned before, any changes to your breasts need to be brought to your doctor's attention right away. They could be an early sign of something potentially very dangerous or something that has no explanation at all. Breast pain, technically called "mastodynia", often has no known cause. Your breast tissue is affected by many things like your hormones, your stress, infection, or illnesses elsewhere in the body, and your caffeine intake. Breast pain can be intermittent, sharp and shooting, dull and constant, or a burning sensation. While breast pain isn't necessarily a sign of breast cancer, it is a sign that something abnormal is going on.
Breast pain can be sharp, dull, constant, or intermittent. Breast pain can have a multitude of causes including but not limited to stress, caffeine intake, hormone imbalances, musculoskeletal trigger points, and abnormal changes to the breast tissue. There are several ways to investigate causes like lab work and imaging. If you are experiencing breast pain, contact us for a consultation to discuss potential causes and treatment options, and to have a clinical breast exam with a licensed provider. Here at TBP, a clinical breast exam, imaging, and lab work are often tools we use to find out what's causing that pain and what you can do to alleviate it. If you are experiencing breast pain, we are happy to see you in the office for an exam and work up. Today we are going to be expanding on what breast pain could and could not be, and diving more into mastodynia.
First and foremost, breast pain is common and something many women go through. It can be a consistent pain or it can only happen occasionally. One of the most common occurrences of breast pain is in the few days leading up to your period. This is a normal occurrence and this mild or moderate pain can appear in both breasts. According to Healthline, the fluctuating hormone levels that appear in your body during and leading up to your period are what's to blame. Your breasts can feel tender and even swell during these times. You will have a spike in your estrogen and progesterone production levels during your cycle. Estrogen will cause you breast ducts to enlarge and progesterone production will cause the milk glands to swell. Both of these reactions will cause soreness in your breasts. The pain can be felt throughout the month too, and have no connection to your period.
Breast pain can also occur during menopause. During the twelve months leading up to menopause, a woman is in a transitioning period called perimenopause. During perimenopause, your levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate. Although, these fluctuations are much more dramatic during perimenopause compared to your menstrual cycle, according to Medical News Today. The dull and sore ache that comes from the side effects of these fluctuations can escalate to more of a burning or throbbing. Once you do officially reach menopause, the pain should be finished, but your risk of breast cancer does increase. If you are experiencing strange pains, your doctor needs to be alerted right away.
Reasons Behind The Pain
There are also many other reasons why your breasts could be hurting.
Since breast pain is so common and is something many women will have to deal with, what are some ways to deal with the pain? Some of the best management steps are all linked to self-care.
Breast pain can be scary if you don't know what's going on. We hope this blog sheds some light on what you're going through, and we hope it calmed your nerves. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out. Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
When dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, one of the first things you'll have to deal with head-on is what is true and what is false in the information available to you. Just like any medical diagnosis, you will come across myths and falsehoods that need to be debunked right away. Today we are going to be tackling the top three most common myths about breast cancer.
Hello, Warriors! We hope this blog finds you well and fighting hard. We hope you are keeping up the hope in yourself and your treatment. If no one has told you recently, you are incredible. You are getting up every day and facing every challenge head-on. With how this year has turned out, that is truly an amazing feat. We are constantly blown away by your journies, strength, and how you balance your everyday professional and personal lives while going through treatment and recovery. We are in awe of you and are inspired by you every day. Keep up the incredible work, we believe in you.
Out of everything that you've already been dealing with and what you're going through, one thing you should never have to deal with is incorrect information and myths. We are the biggest proponents of education and early detection, but we also want to eliminate any fear or misinformation due to old wives' tales or poor information that has turned into what seems like it could be true facts. To deal with this, we want to discuss and debunk some of the most common myths about breast cancer.
Myth #1: If I don't have breast cancer in my family history I won't get it; If I do have breast cancer in my family I will get it.
We wanted to roll this into one myth because to a point both myths are incorrect. It is true that if your family's medical history does include breast cancer you will be at a higher risk, but this doesn't mean you will for sure get breast cancer. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, only about 13% of women who have breast cancer had a direct relative who was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Also, please be aware that even if breast cancer hasn't been in your family history, this does not mean you won't get it. Breast cancer will appear when it wants to and can happen to anyone at any age. According to BreastCancer.org, most people who do get breast cancer have no family history of it at all, which means other factors besides heredity are most likely the cause. These other factors could be your environment or your lifestyle.
Myth #2 Wearing a bra with an underwire, wearing deodorant, carrying a cellphone in your bra, or using a cell phone can all cause breast cancer.
Please remain calm, if you do any or all of these things, there is nothing to worry about. Keep wearing a bra if you want, use it as a handy pocket for your phone when you need to, put on your deodorant in the morning, and keep up with your nighttime scrolls. None of these statements have actual scientific proof that links them to causing breast cancer. Although, some are still being studied to see if there is a link that could have been overlooked. According to the Susan G. Koman foundation, there are certain chemicals found in certain antiperspirants and deodorants that, "can enter the skin and cause changes that could lead to cancer". Even with that knowledge, there is still no direct link between the two. There is also no direct link between how you use or carry your cell phone that links either activity to breast cancer. There is also no increased risk of getting breast cancer connected to using your phone for long periods.
Myth #3: When you have breast cancer, a lump always forms so you know it's there.
This is very untrue. While discovering a lump can indeed be a sign of breast cancer, our last blog should be proof enough that one lump does not automatically mean you have breast cancer. Actually, most lumps are not connected to breast cancer at all. Sometimes there are no warning signs, while some are slight or drastic physical changes that you can see. Some cancers don't form a lump at all. Any change to the breast that is abnormal for your body could potentially be a sign of the early stages of cancer. When you do notice something, your doctor needs to be alerted right away!
It's easy to get caught up in everything you hear when you're dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. You want to have something to blame for what you're going through, you want to justify why you have it, and to know what caused it in the first place. Sometimes these answers won't be easy ones to find if you can even find them at all. Do your research, talk to your care team, and try to avoid anyone who thinks they've heard something to share with you. Leave the myths at the door! Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!