New Breast Self Examination Reminder App from Rethink Breast Cancer – Your Man Reminder
I have seen some really useful apps for smart phones recently, but one in particular called “Your Man Reminder” from Rethink Breast Cancer piqued my interest (for obvious reasons). It features some very nice looking young men reminding you to do your monthly breast self examination. I’m not exactly convinced that he shows enough thoroughness with regard to the physical checking, but it is a good reminder to do it.
Check out the video they made (just might want to ignore the umm… interesting dancing at the end!):
Rethink Breast Cancer is a Canadian based advocacy group started in 2011.
From the Rethink Breast Cancer website: “Rethink is the first-ever, Canadian breast cancer charity to bring bold, relevant awareness to the under-40 crowd; foster a new generation of young and influential breast cancer supporters; infuse sass and style into the cause; and, most importantly, respond to the unique needs of young (or youngish) women going through it. No pink ribbons required.”
I love that, especially the last bit. The app is available for free on iTunes and Android.
The Rethink Breast Cancer website has some great information about healthy food, prevention tips, some inspirational posts by young survivors of breast cancer, and they have fundraising events and ways to get involved. It looks like a good resource, they are doing good work over there. Here’s a link to their blog: http://blog.rethinkbreastcancer.com/
As you may know, I’m all about prevention and welcome young women to my site and to my free newsletters and e-books to empower themselves with information on how to prevent breast cancer, and/or prevent recurrences. If you are interested in receiving that information, you can sign up for them on the right-hand side of this page, and/or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com). It is my honor and my goal to help you through this so that you emerge from breast cancer feeling better than before, thriving!
It’s every woman’s secret fear – finding a breast lump.
The first important thing to do is DON’T PANIC. Studies have shown that 80% of all breast lumps are harmless.
There are many things that can cause a breast lump
Cysts – fluid-filled sacs that can feel like over-ripe grapes. A cyst can sometimes be tender, especially just before your menstrual period.
Fibrocystic changes – lumps that are often painful. Contrary to popular belief, fibrocystic breast changes do not increase your risk of breast cancer. You might find that symptoms are usually worse right before your menstrual period, and then improve after your period starts.
Fibroadenomas – noncancerous lumps that feel rubbery and move easily inside the breast tissue. Like fibrocystic changes, they occur most often during your reproductive years. They are usually not tender and except in rare cases, they do not become cancerous. A doctor can tell during an exam whether a lump is a fibroadenoma. Some doctors will still recommend a lump biopsy just to be sure.
Lipoma – a collection of fatty tissue, a lipoma moves easily with very little finger pressure. Sometimes they are tender to the touch but are usually not associated with any other symptoms. Lipomas rarely become malignant.
Milk cysts – sacs filled with milk and infections (known as mastitis), which may turn into an abscess. These typically only occur if you are breastfeeding or have recently given birth. They are painful!
Other causes of breast lumps
There are other conditions which can cause breast lumps:
Injury — sometimes if your breast is badly bruised, there will be a collection of blood that feels like a lump. These lumps tend to heal themselves in a few days or weeks but if they do not improve, see your doctor.
Breast cancer — if you suspect this, see your doctor
Other breast changes to look for
Bruising on your breast, but you did not experience any injury;
Any discharge from your nipple, especially if it is bloody or pinkish
The skin on your breast appears dimpled or wrinkled, like the peel of an orange
A new breast lump during your monthly self-exam
Your nipple is inverted (turned inward) but normally is not inverted
Do this first!
Make a call to your primary care doctor and go get it checked out. Don’t delay, because if it is breast cancer, the earlier you find it and get treatment, the better your chances for survival.
Your doctor will most likely order an ultrasound exam; it’s a painless, radiation-free way of determining if the lump is a mass or a harmless, fluid-filled cyst. You might also have a core needle biopsy where, with the assistance of the ultrasound equipment, they insert a very slender needle into the breast (it’s not as bad as it sounds) and suck out a small sampling of cells which they test for cancer.
In the event that the lump can’t be seen during your ultrasound exam (which apparently does happen about a third of the time) a similar procedure known as a “stereotactic needle biopsy” uses a mammogram to guide the procedure. They use the mammography equipment when they insert the needle and then scan the breast to ensure accuracy.
I know all this sounds very scary, but go and get yourself checked anyway. If it turns out to be nothing, at least you’ll know and NO ONE will think you are over-reacting.
If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.
The only thing that concerns me in the video is the advice to start getting screening mammograms at the age of 40. There are many problems associated with mammograms and Dr Joseph Mercola (among others) has written an excellent article about that.
One of the main problems with mammograms is that they employ ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which in and of itself can contribute to the development of breast cancer. Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray. This is not acceptable!
A second problem with mammogram screening is that it also compresses your breasts tightly, and if there are any cancer cells present, could also lead to a dangerous spread of those cells.
The third problem with mammography is its unacceptably high rate of false positives. Read Dr Mercola’s article for more information on this – really important for you to know.
Thermal Imaging – A Much Better Solution
Dr Mercola and I agree that thermal imaging is a much better screening device. When I lived in Australia, I went yearly to a Thermal Imaging Center and really loved the experience. No squish! No pain! No radiation!
Thermography measures the infrared heat radiating from your body. It can detect signs of breast cancer without the use of dangerous radiation or mechanical pressure. Thermography can provide a picture of the early stages of angiogenesis — the formation of the blood vessels that feed a tumor.
See my page titled What is Thermography for more information. I highly recommend you do an Internet search – put in your city name and “thermal breast imaging” to find a center near you. Sometimes insurance pays for this – contact the thermal imaging center for more information.
The bottom line is this. The medical establishment is going to continue to push mammography on us – despite its obvious safety issues – unless we, the empowered patients, insist on doing something different.
If you’d like to stay connected, sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey.
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About Marnie Clark
Hi I'm Marnie Clark, breast cancer survivor, and breast cancer coach. I have 20+ years of experience in natural medicine. In 2004/05 I battled breast cancer myself. You can see more about my journey on my page Breast Cancer Diary.
I've been healthy and recurrence-free since 2004 and in 2012 I became a Breast Cancer Coach because I became aware of the fact that whilst there is now a wealth of information on the Internet, much of it is confusing, conflicting, and sometimes just wrong!
Why should you work with me? Because:
(1) You don't want to go through this journey alone, feeling unempowered, frightened or just plain
clueless about what to do to help yourself.
(2) You will have someone working tirelessly on your behalf, putting together a healing plan for
you so you don’t have to lose your precious energy researching what food you should eat,
what supplements you should take, and what other things you can do that will give you the
best chances for survival. Instead you can spend that time resting, meditating, healing.
(3) You will learn what questions to ask your doctor (and have someone to turn to for the
questions they can't or won't answer).
(4) You will be armed with the tools and strategies you will need to get through the therapies you
choose so you can make your body hostile terrain for cancer.
You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates. I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.