The physio I see to get my shoulder moving said that not being able to touch your breasts is a very common problem. She gets her patients to start touching using things such a soft silk scarf, then building up with different materials such as a feather, or a piece of blanket material, to get used to the different sensations. This is intended to break the mental block so eventually you can touch yourself.
the randomised control trial of breast self exam was in china and russia and was a huge study (I think it involved over 200,000 women) so likely to be reliable. I think that's why officially the government has backpedalled on bse although they've come up with touch look etc which is remarkably similar. It's not quite so rigid though i.e. a once a month trawl of one's breasts, and it isn't reliant on finding a lump which is good as some cancer doesn't produce obvious lumps but more hardness or change of size of bosom.
The latest advice hasn't been randomly tested so as far as I'm concerned you use your own judgement. You found your cancer last time, I believe you'd find it next time. I take some comfort from the fact that by the time you find it it's been there for ages anyway, so it's not like a day or a month is likely to make any difference to outcome. I'm fatalistic now. Just keep an eye out for any unusual changes.
Might it perhaps help if you got some nice massage oil and try using that on your breasts? It feels nicer and more natural somehow than just setting out to "check your breasts". It also improves the chances of spotting a lump or bump because your skin is more slippery.
mmm, please remember this is not the recommended approach and everyone knows that we are told how important it is to be breast aware but....
Would you have found your current cancer by self examination or could it only be picked up my the mammogram?? Perhaps any re-occurance would not be detectable by self -checks and you would be putting yourself through distress for nothing.
I cannot remember which country it was, but it was before they had regular screening. The took quite a large group of women. taught one lot self examination(it takes half an hour to do, I did not know that) and just talked to the others about healthy eating. After several years they did a follow up and the ladies who did not self examine found their lumps just as quickly as those that did. Either whilst washing, making love or suddenly something made them feel their breast.
Please dont let me enourage you or others to not do everything you can to make sure you detect any future breast changes as early as possible. But personally I have never self examined and even after this little episode am unlikely to start. I am probably going to play ostrich and not want a constant reminder of it all. I might go for mammograms though, especially as i also have high grade LCIS that could kick off at any time.
Ive had the same feelings and also know some others who are equally reluctant to 'face their fears'. As you say, totally illogical, but if youve been through BC, totally undertandable. Im disappointed that your BCC nurse hasnt been of more help. My friend gets hers checked by our nurse due to same fears.
I think time may help as I am checking now, some two years after DX, but maybe chat to the helpline for more support?
Dont beat yourself up about it, but try to think of the benefits, like peace of mind.
Hi everyone, I wonder if anyone has the same problem as me. I was diagnosed with BC about 18 months ago, luckily it was caught early (via routine mammogram), had a lumpectomy, chemo and radioth, then another mammogram one year after diagnosis came back clear, so things are looking hopeful.
The problem is, I know how important it is to be "breast aware", and to check regularly for lumps etc, but ever since my diagnosis I have been totally unable to touch my breasts. I know it's illogical, and if I find a lump that the sooner it's treated the better, but I just seem to have a phobia that I can't overcome. I've mentioned it to the breast care nurse, who simply says that I "have to make myself do it". If it were that easy, I would!
Anyone got any ideas?