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Hola! Happy Tuesday y'all, with that said we only have 3 more weeks in October to raise breast cancer awareness, so let's make it count by staying informed. First thing first, remember to show lots of love this month by wearing pink and show your support for all of our women who are survivors, who currently got diagnose with breast cancer, who are receiving chemo or had lumpectomies or mastectomies and for those who fought so hard that they left an imprint in our hearts. This month is special in every way because we are #notdoneyet.

For  many years now women have been told do breast self-exams at home as a way to save their lives. But as of November 2009, that all changed and many of us wondered why? Which I think is a great question. In 2009, new guidelines for breast cancer screening from a goverment-appointed task force recommended doctors no longer to teach BSE. Why? Well most doctors notice an increasing amount of  breast biopsies being order more frequently with diagnoses that were benign lesions only. So, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Well, according to a study in 2002 by the Journal of the National Cancer Institue, followed 260,00 women in Shanghi for 5 years. Half of the group was trained in BSE and reinforced the importance and the other half had no BSE training and were encourage not to practice BSE at all. So what came about the study is that researches concluded that women who choose to practice BSE should be informed that its efficacy is unproven and that it may increase their chances of having benign breast biopsy.

However, in my 8 years of health care experience I believe BSE are really important for women to keep practicing especially in our ethnic minority groups such as Hispanic/Latina women and African American women because although the studies say otherwise these two groups have the highest mortality rate in breast cancer. Plus, it is known that women, not their doctors, find the vast majority of breast abnormalities that are not picked up by mammograms. And BSE have shown to be as accurate as mammography and/or MRI at detecting breast cancer because women are speaking up about their abnormal findings.

So, let's get to it ladies, keep practicing your Breast Self-Exams. 
First, get to know your breast in a healthy and loving way
Second, a good way to implement your BSE is practicing what feels normal to you and going over any 
changes with your provider. 
Third, don't be afraid to start if you feel your breast are too lumpy, start changing your attitude and
encourage yourself to become more proactive about the importance of your breast health. 

Okay, are you ready to start your monthly breast self exams. Yes! 
Alright....Here are some great tips to keep in mind:

(p.s. please keep in mind to do BSE with no bra or sport bra on. For the purpose of my demonstration I kept mine on, also if you want a better feel of the breast tissue  you can do the exam in the shower or use natural essential oil to help with BSE.)
  1. Use your first three fingers of your right or left hand, find the hollow spot above your right or left collarbone. Lightly stretch the skin and stroke from your shoulders toward your neck. Repeat five times
  2. With the same three fingers of the right or left hand, very flat cover your axilla (armpit area) and stroke the skin upward five times
  3. Keep the fingers flat (which ever hand you are using) and lightly stroke the area of the breastbone to the armpit, repeat five times. 
  4. Keep the fingers flat and lightly stroke the breast area up/down or circular motion or wedge, remember to apply enough gentle pressure to feel the breast tissue for any lumps or masses.(below is an example of circular motion, if you like to see an example picture of motions click here.) 
Below is an internet example of BSE

Image result for breast self exam pictures

If you find any abnormal findings be sure to make an appointment with the doctor and discuss
your concerns and the doctor will then make recommendations as needed.

Make sure you come back to the blog as
I will be writing about normal/abnormal breast findings and
what are the recommendations and follow ups.   


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