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#95216 - Tue Jan 11 2000 11:40 AM For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
DISCLAIMER
I am not a doctor (I don't even play one on tv). I only submit this as personal experience - take from it what you will.

My doctor has been telling me for several years to start taking Vitamin E. He says that it's good for any fibrocystic cysts in the breasts. Not a lot is necessary - 400 IU a day is sufficient (that's the amount you most often see on the drugstore shelves).

Last year, my mother had a mammogram (routine) that showed something that they were concerned about. Just as a precaution, they went ahead and did an ultrasound. They didn't find anything but cysts, but told her, just to be on the safe side, to have another one done in 6 months. In the meantime, she started taking Vit E. At the 6 month visit, they could not even find the cysts. Yesterday, she, again, had her yearly mammogram. Not a trace of anything! The only thing that changed was the introduction of the Vit E. I'm beginning to think my doctor (and hers) is on to something. Worth a shot.

Again, I'm not making any promises or saying that this is something that you should do. But, I've decided to give it a try.

I've also heard that it's good for cardiovascular health.

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#95217 - Wed Jan 12 2000 12:01 AM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
Linda1, you bring up a very important subject. And yes this subject should be important to men who love their women!! I am going to buy some vitamin E today!! Thank you for the tip and also reminding us women to go and have a mammogram done.

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#95218 - Sun Jan 16 2000 10:57 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Fritztino Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 192
Loc: Wauwatosa Wisconsin USA
And please remember to also do a monthly "self-exam". It could save your life!

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#95219 - Tue Jan 18 2000 04:09 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Another additional comment to follow up on Fritztino's.

I decided last year (I was having a mammogram done - yes, I know I'm young for it, but I've already had 2 - just precautionary) that I was tired of everyone telling me to do a monthly breast exam (and even seeing all those darn diagrams in the women's magazine). What was frustrating me was that no one really teaches girls HOW to do a monthly exam. They never say exactly WHAT you're supposed to be feeling for and even WHERE. So, I told the technician that I wanted her to spend some time with me explaining exactly how to properly do an exam. It was wonderful - she was very patient.

The whole instruction was incredibly enlightening. What most women don't realize is exactly where their breast is. Yes, you read that correctly! In a proper breast exam, you need to be checking as far up as just immediately below your shoulder. You need to be going beyond the armpit - almost to the back. You go down a lot further than all those pictures in the magazines show. You check even in between the breasts. The breast area is much, much larger than most women realize.

You also need to know exactly what pressure to use (several varying ones). You need to know exactly what to feel for. A cancerous breast lump feels much different than a fibrocystic one. You need to know the size of a lump that you're feeling for (not just large ones and not just small ones).

I would highly suggest that you request your doctor show you exactly how to do a proper exam. An improperly done one isn't as helpful.

One thing to keep in mind as you do exams, mammograms, etc - breast cancer is very serious. You need to have every lump evaluated. It is a very crucial thing for females (and, to be honest, no one mentions this, but men can get it, too) to be aware of. However, also be aware that every lump is not cancer. There are a million reasons why you may have a lump/breast pain/tenderness/whatever. Cancer is only one of the millions. And, it can be treated.

While they are doing a great service to women to inform them of breast cancer, it is also true that many women are being unnecessarily frightened by the medical community. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to die of heart disease as a woman than breast cancer. If you find a lump, remain calm and just have it checked as soon as you can. It may be nothing.

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#95220 - Tue Jan 18 2000 04:29 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
You know Linds1, I was thinking if more women come into this thread, maybe we could start a buddy system where two women team up to have a mammogram done in the same month. I know that would help to encourage me. What do you think?

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#95221 - Fri Jan 21 2000 07:37 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
sue943 Offline

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Posts: 35719
Loc: Jersey Channel Islands        
Where I live women are only given mammography once they are 50, unless they actually have a lump to be investigated. They do them every two years - and my next one is due anytime now. My good friend Jane was due for her second one just over a month ago, actually had an appointment for it, was at the doctor's with another problem and asked him to check her breast as she had a 'dimple' which had been there for at least nine months (that's right, nine months) and just before Christmas she had a radical mastectomy, they also removed 16 lymph nodes. I am not putting mammography down, I will have mine when called, but it must be stressed that if it is clear then that only means there is nothing at that time - next month could be another story.
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#95222 - Fri Jan 21 2000 08:40 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
shuttlebunny Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 1486
Loc: Iola Wisconsin USA      
I just wanted to point out the "dimpling" sue mentions in the last post. I too had a great experience at my last 'female' check-up. I went to a nurse practitioner that's new to our clinic. I had the most thorough breast exam I've had in 20 years!

The dimpling was a new one for me! Because I'm large busted, she suggested some different techniques and told me to watch for irregular movements and dimpling. Nobody ever told me this before! Ask your doctor!

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#95223 - Wed Oct 11 2000 10:50 AM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Bringing this back up to the top, because it's vital information. Also, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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#95224 - Wed Oct 11 2000 11:40 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
fabulousredhead Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 17 2000
Posts: 119
Loc: The Frozen Part Of Hell
I am so glad that you brought this back to the top. I have just been to the doctor's and was told that I also have fibrocystic cysts in my breasts. I will definitely try the vit. E. Also, I had asked my doc when I should get a mammogram done and she said that here it's at age 45. I'm only 30 and asked if I could have an elective mammogram done, just to be safe and I was told that insurance doesn't cover mammograms until age 45. Considering that this is breast cancer awareness month, thought that I'd bring this out. I personally feel that this is a tragedy. There seems to be such an outpouring during the month of October in regards to breast cancer, but what is anyone *really* doing. If the insurance companies would use their collective heads, they would see that if a woman wants to have a mammogram and cancer is caught in its early stages, it would alleviate future drastic measures after serious damage or metastases has occurred. Just a thought.
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#95225 - Wed Oct 11 2000 12:03 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Fabred, call your insurance company directly and speak to someone. There's got to be a way around that.

I know my insurance paid for it. It might have been because the doctor recommended it due to the fibrocystic lumps. If your doctor insists that it's necessary due to lumpiness (and, if you tell him/her that you really do want one, they will probably help you out with this), the insurance company may pay for it after all.

It's probably going to come down to your being a bit stubborn. Don't settle for that explanation. As a concerned female, you have the right to a mammogram if you so desire. Insist on it until you get it. We've got to fight for this - they're not going to listen until we do, unfortunately.

(And, by the way, mammograms don't really hurt - at least, in my opinion. I think I was so glad to know that I was getting a really complete exam that it didn't bother me a bit. Don't let other women scare you into thinking that it's going to hurt, so you shouldn't get one.)

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#95226 - Wed Oct 11 2000 12:06 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
By the way, since I introduced this thread, I've been taking the 400 IU of Vitamin E daily - haven't missed a one. And, I can tell a difference. I don't have the tenderness or nearly as much lumpiness as I did before I started taking it.

Like I said before, it's worth a shot!

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#95227 - Wed Oct 11 2000 01:00 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
fabulousredhead Offline
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Registered: Sun Sep 17 2000
Posts: 119
Loc: The Frozen Part Of Hell
Only problem Linda1 is the fact that unfortunately right now, I'm going to school and not working and going through the county for my healthcare. They're very strict on their guidelines. BUT, within the next several months, I'll be employed in the healthcare field, so it shouldn't be a problem then. Until then, I will be trying the vit. E.
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#95228 - Thu Oct 12 2000 01:08 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
fay_mc Offline
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Registered: Thu Dec 02 1999
Posts: 1050
Loc: North East England UK
Linda - on the subject of not been taught how to check yourself and what to look for - I went to a day where they had dummy breasts (one with lumps in and one without) that they could actually show you how to do it properly!

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#95229 - Thu Oct 12 2000 01:11 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
I need to learn how to check myself out properly. I get so paranoid when I try and I am not really sure what to do. Do you or Linda know of a good site that will help you learn online?

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#95230 - Thu Oct 12 2000 01:20 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
JoJo, this isn't really something that you can learn online. It's something that you need to be physically taught. Most charts and online diagrams do not show you how to properly do a breast exam. All those little "Monthly Exam Cards" that you see all over the place are not accurate, because they do not demonstrate how hard you should be pressing or even exactly where you should be feeling.

It is imperative that women start telling their doctors that they want to learn proper breast exam procedures. And, yes, using the woman's own breasts as the example. This is not the time for modesty or shyness - you must have someone show you, on your own breast, where to be feeling, the types of pressures to use, etc.

I've seen the "dummy breasts" that Fay mentioned. And, they are great tools. And, they teach you some of the kinds of lumps that you can feel (benign vs cancerous). I do recommend them highly. But, the absolute best way to learn is using your own breast as the model.

You can look at a chart or a diagram all you want, but until you actually have it demonstrated, you're not going to be doing a complete job. Remember what I said above - the majority of women don't even know where their breasts begin. They think it's a much smaller area than it is - you have to be reaching all of the areas that cancer can strike, or you're potentially missing out on finding something.

What we need to be doing is insisting that our doctors take the time to teach us and talk to us. Doctors can tend to get to the point that they just rush patients in and out of the office. But, you are the one paying that bill. You are the one who can insist that you get the answers that you need. And, getting information about something as important as breast cancer is an answer that you need.

Mothers, it's also a good idea to help your young daughters learn how to do an exam properly. Might as well start them out correctly.

[This message has been edited by Linda1 (edited 10-12-2000).]

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#95231 - Thu Oct 12 2000 02:02 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
Here are a found a few sites that helped me:

Click here to learn more about giving yourself a Monthly Breast Exam

Women's health - Breat Cancer Center

American Medical Women's Association

I just visited allHealth.com and you can get a monthly breast self-exam and/or annual clinical breast exam and mammogram reminder by email, along with expert answers to common questions, tips, and a complete guide to doing a self-exam.
Click here to go to allHealth.com to sign up for yours


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#95232 - Thu Oct 12 2000 02:13 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Oh, well! So much for that well-intentioned advice!

(I have someone who was close to me who followed the charts and diagrams "to a t." Did it every month faithfully. Because she was never taught the correct way of checking her own breasts, they didn't catch the breast cancer that she had until too late. It'd spread so much in her body that it was too late.)

It is good to at least be doing something, though. And, if all you can manage to do is look at a picture and follow it, please do so. But, please also attempt to get some real instruction as well. It could save your life.

Not doing anything at all is the absolute worst thing you can do.

[This message has been edited by Linda1 (edited 10-12-2000).]

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#95233 - Sun Mar 18 2001 10:19 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
Bringing this up for those who care to discuss the subject of breast cancer.

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#95234 - Sun Mar 18 2001 10:30 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
Thanks for bringing this one back up, JoJo! This compliments the quiz in the Tavern perfectly!

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#95235 - Mon Mar 19 2001 05:14 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
Linda, I want to thank you for starting this thread. I have only had one mammogram in my life and I am currently looking for a place that gives free mammograms. It is high time I went and got myself checked. I really get nervous about going but I think I will feel so much better once I have gone... let's hope so anyway.

I have an idea!! Why don't we have mammogram buddies? We could support and encourage each other to have a check up. I am open to any suggestings on this idea if anyone likes it.


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#95236 - Mon Mar 19 2001 05:22 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
JoJo, I don't know if they're free, but I see these "bus things" around every once in a while that have MAMMOGRAM written on the side. In fact, I saw one just the other day (now, if I could only remember where it was that I saw it!)

My best guess would be to check your local medical center. I do know that I see those busses more frequently around those areas of town. And, there's always your doctor - he/she should be able to give you advice on where to go to get a free mammogram (or, at least, a really cost-effective one).

There may even be clinical trials in your town that provide free services in exchange for being involved in some kind of research. The research may not have to be anything invasive - it could be as simple as the effects of a certain food or herb on mammograms (medical facilities do clinical trials on all kinds of things - you'd be surprised! I once got a free complete blood workup just by being a "control" patient for a study they were doing. Got free movie tickets for doing it, too! ) Check around your area. I think you may find some possibilities that you weren't aware of.

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#95237 - Tue Apr 17 2001 12:25 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
(In today's abcnews.com article found at
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA010417Young_breast_cancer.html )

quote:
Between 1950 and 1995, the occurrence of breast cancer in young women has increased by 55 percent and continues to increase at a rate of 2 percent each year, according to the National Cancer Institute. Of the two million women expected to develop breast cancer this year, over 700,000 will be under the age of 40.

If you are a woman under the age of 40 (or know someone who is), see this link: www.bigbam.com.

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#95238 - Mon Apr 23 2001 01:13 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
Linda1 Offline
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Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 11250
Loc: Munchkinland
JoJo, I was determined to find you a place where you could get a mammogram for not a lot of money! Found this for you:
http://www.a2zimaging.com/mammo.htm

Those of you not in the California area, don't despair. There are plenty of areas across the US for you to find free mammograms (and even pap smears). This is a database of providers that give both:

http://www.hersource.com/breast/03/3d/cdcall.cfm

Those of you not in the US, I have a feeling there are providers in your cities that might be able to help.

So, there's absolutely no excuse anymore for not doing everything you can to catch breast cancer (and other forms of female cancers) early!

[ 04-23-2001: Message edited by: Linda1 ]

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#95239 - Mon Apr 23 2001 02:04 PM Re: For Women (and those who love them)
JoJo2 Offline
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Registered: Fri Nov 19 1999
Posts: 17656
Loc: San Diego California USA 
Thank you Linda. Your efforts and research are highly appreciated.

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