Taking Care of Y(Our) Breasts 101
Ladies, we need to have a serious talk about your (our) breasts. They are ours after all.
Our breasts are such a big part of what makes us women, what helps us nurture our little ones. So we want to keep them healthy and know as much as possible about how they work.
2040 Exchange interviewed Mrs Neisha Williams, a registered nurse with qualifications in emergency nursing and occupational health.
In a two-part series, we will discuss matters of the breast, how to maintain a healthy breast, discuss the risks associated with breast cancer and the support services available for women in need at Teshuva Wellness.
Give us some tips on maintaining healthy breasts
The first thing we must know about y(our) breasts is that they are made up of several glands. These glands respond to your hormones, preparing for the possibility of pregnancy and breastfeeding. This means our breasts are always changing. Every single day, every single month. This is why most women will notice a change in their breasts around the time of their monthly period.
So, the best person to know when something is different in your breasts is YOU.
Examine Your Breasts Regularly
Do monthly breast self-exams. This should be done in the shower at least 3 days after your period. A very close friend of mine found a lump in her breast while showering. She decided to see her gynaecologist who told her it was a benign/non -cancerous lump ( Fibro-adenoma). She decided to have it removed and tested. When her results came back it was indeed cancerous, she was only 29years old. Trust YOUR intuition ladies! My friend is doing very well now, she even had a baby 5 years after being treated.
Remember, each breast extends into the armpit, so feel around there too. Get used to what is normal for YOU.
If you notice any of the following, it is recommended that you visit your doctor immediately:
- Pain in the breasts
- A lump in the breast or under the armpit
- A change in the appearance of the skin over the breasts
- The fluid of any kind leaking from the nipples
- Changes in the appearance of the nipple
Knowing Your Right Bra Size is Key
A very critical thing to know when it comes to breast health is the importance of wearing the correct bra size. Most women do not know why they wear the size they do. It should be based on specific measurements, not just what feels right. During exercise wearing the correct size sports bra is critical as this will prevent your breasts from bouncing around while exercising which can be very painful especially if you are largely busted.
Check your beauty and skincare products such as lotions, face creams, face washes, and shampoos – Many skincare products we use as females affect our hormones. In recent years we have noticed that many companies have stopped putting in parabens (widely used preservative and endocrine disruptor), phthalates (this product is found in many cosmetics and shampoos) and Hydroquinone (very common skin lightener) in their products. These three substances can cause hormonal disturbances and have been linked to causing breast cancer /are carcinogenic, reproductive issues and disturbances in libido.
Neisha spoke of a podcast where a lady indicated that for 4 years whenever she tried to be intimate with her husband it was extremely painful. This began causing marital issues and after doing some research, the lady found that the face wash she was using contained parabens which were causing her issue as it disrupted her hormones. When she stopped using the facewash within a week, she and her husband were able to have pain free “sex”.
Ladies, do the research and read your labels carefully, stick to more natural /organic products. In part two of this feature, we will look at the causes of breast cancer and just a few quick pointers you must know associated with this illness.
Stay tuned Exchangers, more details to come!