Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Why Do Women Have Breasts?

4th September 2009  

My appointment arrives for the mammogram biopsy and Steve makes arrangements to look after Sophia on the 7th. It has been a tense few days and I have snapped at Steve on a couple of occasions. He knows the best way to deal with me is to ignore.

Why do women have breasts?
I was never bothered about my breasts or their size. In fact when my breasts filled with milk and quadrupled in size I was upset. I hated having large breasts it was a hindrance. Don’t get me wrong I loved breast feeding Sophia, but I hated the discomfort they caused.
Steve thankfully prefers small breasted women he is more of a bottom man. I do have a shapely bottom and I love that. Not at all flat or square just shapely. It is the Spanish genes I have inherited. My eldest daughter has inherited the same, but big breasts also which she hates.
She asked, “Mum where do I begin if I want to find a lump? They are so big.”
I look at her straight faced. “I have no idea because this whole thing has got me baffled.”
The facts are you are not just looking for lumps. The condition they are looking at me for is in situ. It does not show as a lump not unless tumours develop later in the ducts.
Which by that time could mean it is too late and treatment has to be aggressive. DCIS is seen as a pre-cancerous condition which is treatable if caught in time. It is also seen as a dark horse because it can only be seen through a mammogram.
There are few or none symptoms present when diagnosed. It is luck of the draw if you catch it before it spreads whereas tumours have a more serious outlook and are treated aggressively. This is because of their nature and unpredictability.

The advice I have noted to tell my girls is:
Get up on a morning look at your breasts check shape, size. When in the shower or bath while washing your breasts soap up and let your hands glide across them. Check for unusual changes lumps, bumps and thickness. Keep a record of your monthly and the timing of the changes. Are they there all the time? Is there any pain? If you have a diary just note them down. The nipple is there any inversion or liquid seeping from them? Are there any unusual changes that weren’t there before?
If in doubt come to me or go to your GP. If you are still not happy insist on further investigation. Do not walk away and feel your problem is not heard. It is up to you to make it heard. GP’s only know so much and I have learned through personal experience it’s better to be certain than left with doubt.

I explained all of this to my eldest daughter and fingers crossed she never has to go through what I have gone through. Some people say the information above is of no use, but isn’t it better to teach your children to be pro-active than not.
I think it is better to know your body and to check inspect on a regular interval. If we had six monthly health checks at our GP’s then I would still say check yourself. It is your body you should understand how it all works. That is why I discovered the breast cancer back in January 2009 even though I did not listen to instinct. Thankfully it did not take hold fast enough and my body gave out a further warning sign i.e. Paget’s.
Sophia is too small to explain this to yet, but in time like Kayleigh I will sit her down. I am a strong believer of not hiding facts and replacing them with fiction.
No babies do not come from under bramble bushes!

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