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Entries in breast health (2)

Monday
Oct152012

Self breast massage

The importance of breast massage can not be overstated. It is an essential part of self care in maintaining health and well being, it is important in preventing cysts, clogged lymph and congested tissues that could lead to disease. Self breast massage is important for pregnant and lactating women for maintaining health and preventing or treating mastitis. [x] Breast massage has also been shown to help in treating breast cancer. [v]

Massaging the breasts as well as the areas around the armpits and along the bra line is particularly important for women who wear bras, especially underwire bras. Bras restrict the flow of blood, lymph and Qi through the chest, causing stagnation. Over time, this may result in fibrosis, lumps, pain or other signs or symptoms of undernourished tissues.

 

Massage your breasts and the tissue near your armpits daily. It can take the place of your monthly breast exam because you are constantly monitoring your tissues. Technique is not as important as just getting movement in the tissues. You can do circles with your fingers or an up-and-down movement. Start more superficial and then get deeper and check for lumps of any kind. You may find clogged lymph nodes or congested tissues; some women find small bits they describe as "sandy" or "gritty". Rub them for several minutes each day. If they don't reduce in size, or resolve, over the course of the month, then see your primary care provider. Give a quick massage to the bra line each time you take off your bra. Never sleep with a bra on; your tissues need time to recover and it is essential for the tissues to have time each day having free flow of blood, lymph & Qi.[y] 

If you skin brush, make sure to give attention to the bra line area and always brush your pits and breasts. Skin brushing does not take the place of breast massage, however. This YouTube video (with a long intro) has good instruction for a thorough breast massage.

Sunday
Oct072012

Thermography breast cancer screening

Mammograms are dangerous; they subject patients to radiation in tissues that are susceptible to cancers and they are notoriously difficult to read--practitioners will diagnose the same mammogram differently or one practitioner will give a single picture different diagnoses on separate readings. They hurt and they have a relatively higher number of false positives.

A review of seven similar studies last year concluded that 30 percent of women who get a diagnosis of breast cancer through mammography screening represent "over-diagnosis and over-treatment." [1]

Thermography is a superior alternative, in my opinion. Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI) reads the heat emanating from the body. Tumours and pathological tissues radiate more heat than normal tissues. This allows for earlier detection than both manual exams (whether self employed or from a doc) and mammograms. It does not subject patients to harmful radiation and it doesn't hurt. Usually a woman has two initial thermograms done, several months apart, in order to establish a baseline. This makes it much easier to detect abnormal changes from her individual pattern of heat distribution.

Thermography's accuracy and reliability is remarkable, too. In the 1970s and 1980s, a great deal of research was conducted on thermography. In 1981, Michel Gautherie, Ph.D., and his colleagues reported on a 10-year study, which found that an abnormal thermogram was 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than having a history of breast cancer in your family.[2] 

Thermography detects pathological changes in tissue well before cancer appears so that patients can initiate lifestyle changes and less invasive treatments. It is particularly useful for women with fibrotic or dense breast tissue who experience higher rates of mammogram errors. And, actually, it's not just for breasts. Abdominal/pelvic scans are available as well as more costly and time-consuming whole-body scans.

The most surprising part?? It's FDA approved and "recognized as a viable diagnostic tool since 1987 by the AMA Council on Scientific Affairs, the ACA Council on Diagnostic Imaging, the Congress of NeuroSurgeons in 1988 and in 1990 by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation." [3]

So how is it that so many people have never heard of thermography? Learn more about it at Picture My Health.