There has been a long standing argument that having breast implants may actually hinder the effectiveness of a mammogram due to the obvious obstruction the device causes in the chest cavity. This is unrelated to the other big controversy over implants (mostly silicone though), of whether or not they actually lend to the risk of getting breast cancer in the first place.
While that risk has been for the most part debunked for saline implants since they only leak harmless salt water into the body if they start to give way, it hasn’t been fully debunked for the silicone implant. However, breast implants may impact you as far as breast cancer goes in another way.
Doctors and technicians who perform mammograms have thought in the past that it logically makes sense that having breast implants, which commonly lay under the muscle but still present somewhat of an obstruction into all of the fatty tissue in the breast, would potentially hinder a successful mammogram test for tumors and masses of concern.
If you’ve never had a mammogram I’m going to explain what this test does first and it will make sense. The breast is flattened as flat as it can get against the chest. This provides a “thinner layer” for the mammogram visualizing mechanism to “read”. This way it can really flatten the tissue out and get a better reading of any areas of concern.
The imaging mechanism may be hindered because when you have implants, they really are quite firm, and don’t allow for the same “smashing” of the breast completely flat that a normal, natural breast does since it is composed of fatty tissue.
Some technicians say that this inability to squash everything flat like a pancake might not give them the most accurate reading and might obscure things on the readout that they might otherwise catch in a 100% natural breast.
A recent study compiled data from several other previous studies, most with conflicting information impossible to make a final determination on the whole implant/mammogram issue, raises concerns that there may be more of an issue than previously thought.
Women with breast implants were almost thirty percent more likely to have more advanced cases of breast cancer than women who did not have implants. In addition, women with implants had a higher rate of severity and also of death from the cancer.
There are several problems with the studies though because there weren’t other outside factors that typically contribute to breast cancer factored in to the findings. This means that there could really be other unknown reasons behind the findings such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, weight and other things that have a heavy hand in determining whether someone gets breast cancer, or for that matter, any type of cancer.
To be on the safe side, it is recommended that women with implants get other methods of screening that is better at reading the results with this type of obstruction. There are great strides being made in other screening methods like ultrasound and thermal imaging, and these may be more effective.
I LOVE my coffee in the morning. I’ve grown so fond of the energizing beverage that I sometimes crave it the night before the morning time when I know I’m going to drink it again! Sometimes the mood hits me right before bed and I’ll really look forward to that morning cup of joe even more than I usually do.
Many Americans have this same love affair with coffee. It is still the most popular hot beverage, even though drinking “designer teas” has crept up there too. Tea is still nowhere near as common a habit as coffee drinking.
While coffee is maligned by some for its high caffeine content and addictive nature, there are still definite health benefits to drinking the dark, tasty beverage every day. Of course, the benefits get better with the better and more pure the quality of coffee you choose, so sticking to organic brands with as little toxic additives as possible is the best way to garner the benefits without the drawbacks.
One such benefit appears to be the prevention of breast cancer recurrence, as cited by one recent study. However, the study only paired daily coffee drinking with the recurrence-preventive medicine that works by blocking estrogens Tamoxifen. This drug is often prescribed to breast cancer survivors as a way to help ensure that the often estrogen fueled breast cancer will not return by taking away part of its “fuel” – estrogen.
The study found that breast cancer survivors who took the drug and drank 2 or more cups of coffee daily were statistically lower risk for having their breast cancer return than the non-coffee drinkers in the study.
How would coffee make the difference in survival and recurrence though? Well, at first the connection wasn’t clear to the researchers, however they think that the coffee somehow makes the Tamoxifen more effective by activating it to higher levels of efficiency.
Interestingly, caffeine itself, which as you know is a major component of the coffee bean which is released through the heat of brewing coffee, was found to be preventive of breast cancer occurring in the first place. There is some mechanism in caffeine that acts as somewhat of an antidote to breast cancer that is not quite understood.
This is totally random and anecdotal from my own life experience, but I’ll share with you something that has been in my experience with caffeine. I have struggled on and off with acne for years, as a teenager and later, on and off as an adult. It’s always been a very hormonal issue for me, so when my hormones are out of whack, a breakout surely occurs.
You may or may not know this, but male hormones are the hormones that supposedly cause acne. So when women have too many male hormones circulating, they are more apt to have acne problems. I used to notice that when I drank a lot of coffee or had too much of a caffeinated beverage or product, my skin would break out.
Lending the hormone theory, I hypothesized that my breakouts from caffeine were from too many male hormones in my body. So, using that theory it does seem to make sense that maybe caffeine in some way suppresses female hormones (estrogens) and promotes male hormones (androgens). Hmm, sounds like a theory to me!
I talk a big game when it comes to my disdain for bras, but the truth of it is, I’m still a modestly raised, Catholic-background woman who still feels that modesty is one of the greatest virtues. Much to my husbands dismay, I like to cover up as much as possible, maintaining not only a level of personal comfort but also keeping myself from feeling self conscious.
In other words, I’ve never been a flashy girl, never wanted too much attention, and never strived for that type of attention. However, on the flip side I cannot deny that I hate bras with a passion. As soon as that sucker can come off at home, it comes off.
It’s the first thing I ditch when I walk in the door from work, and one of the last things I like to put on in the morning. Sometimes I go braless almost all weekend, especially if it’s a weekend where we barely have to leave the house. Which brings me to the point of this diatribe.
When IS it actually appropriate to go braless without being perceived as some free swinging hippie chick or getting dirty looks from other women and unwanted leering looks from men?
Well, it’s simple to me actually. I’m not saying that I haven’t made my occasional mistake in assuming it was appropriate here and there, or misjudging how obvious it was that I was going “bra commando”, but I’ve mostly made the right decisions.
My rule of thumb is that your shirt must be loose enough or thick enough to completely camouflage that you aren’t wearing support. This means that the most opportunities to go braless are going to come up in the winter, since this is when women tend to wear big, baggy clothese the most like sweatshirts, thick cable sweaters and other baggier clothes that let you preserve your modesty without much effort.
In addition, you can always skip it if you are throwing on a coat and can pretty much guarantee that you won’t need to venture out of the car or very far in to the public and take the coat off.
So for example, if you’re going ot the grocery store and it’s coat-wearing weather, you can just keep your coat on, the best braless companion, the entire time. If there is any danger of you overheating, or if the weather is too unpredictable, you better wear one just in case.
One time I was caught in this situation where I had to swelter in a coat because I just could NOT take my coat off – I was wearing something way too thin and telling under the coat and I would have been mortified so I’d rather sweat it out then be comfortable and compromise my modesty.
Some women don’t mind wearing bras all the time, but most in my circle of friends and family really can’t wait to take them off any time they have a moment where they’re not feeling that social pressure to wear one.
If bras were undetectable when you were wearing them, and comfortable as a second skin while also maintaining modesty, maybe women wouldn’t want to whip them off at the first opportunity they have every day. The person who discovers this “second skin” bra will become an instant millionaire!
I’m pretty sure that just about every woman experiences this phenomenon to some degree, it can’t just be me. I’ve talked to numerous friends and family about it too, and they almost always agree that they see these types of changes in their breasts during the month.
Some may experience it a little more severely or noticeable than others. Some may experience it more often than others, say several times a month. Some may not experience it at all or may not be that tuned in to these types of changes in their body. I notice it though, big time, and it can vary widely for me from time to time.
I know that I can correlate it to hormonal changes in my body because they happen to coincide with other hormonal side effects like hot flashes, moodiness, skin breakouts and irritability or sleeplessness, which I periodically experience with the fluctuations in my hormones every month.
And one more thing to prove the validity of this phenomenon. It’s really anecdotal, but I like it! My husband ALWAYS notices these monthly fluctuations in my breast size. He loves when they’re all inflated and cushy feeling, and I have to admit, it does make me feel a bit more feminine as well unless they are really swollen to the point of being uncomfortably restrained in my bra.
Like many other fatty areas of your body (for me it would be my thighs, for lots of women it would be the same, and the belly area as well), swell up during your menstrual cycle. This is due to water weight gain. The fat cells actually swell up temporarily during this time, inflating your figure in all sorts of ways you may find pleasing or totally revolting.
Your breasts are no different. They are ALL FAT. There’s a little bit of connective tissue in there and some muscles holding it all up and together way down beneath the surface, but all in all the tissue itself is the bulk of what we consider the breast, and this is all fat.
Those fatty cells swell when you gain water weight during the various periods of the month when your hormones fluctuate. Women who are pregnant experience significant swelling of the breasts, and this is both to prepare their breasts to lactate and due to the massive amounts of water weight their bodies tend to take on thanks to a whole host of hormones working in symphony to change a woman’s body to prepare her to give birth and nurse.
Interestingly, there is another reason that breasts enlarge during pregnancy. You’ve likely heard that your blood supply and volume actually increases during pregnancy since you are supporting another life. This is often the cause of the typical shortness of breath many women experience as well, you’re supporting more life force within your body, which can be quite a chore when added in with the extra weight you’re also carrying.
This increase in blood supply causes the veins to dilate larger, and increases the blood supply to the breasts, which can enlarge the tissues surrounding it. Also, your milk glands expand during this time period, adding extra weight and “padding” to your breasts as well.
What’s funny is that I’ve noticed many times that when mine get bigger, I do notice the veins seem to show a lot more. They become closer to the surface, and I can see the blue color of them clearly through my skin, as if I were transparent.
Many of these hormonal changes often occur during different cycles of the month in the female body as well, so you don’t necessarily have to get pregnant to feel the effects!
It is one of the most common complaints I hear among my female friends. “Why is it that every time I lose weight, the first place it comes off of is my boobs instead of my belly, butt or thighs?!” I seriously don’t think I know one woman who was blessed enough to have the weight stay in the one area that most women wouldn’t mind having a little extra “padding” – their chest!
There’s always those one-off genetic anomalies that seem to keep the weight on in that one are while simultaneously keeping it on in the one area while losing it in all the “right” spots. However, as with women with huge knockers and tiny waists, this body type and metabolism type is rare.
I know for me personally, the first place I lose weight from is my boobs. It’s extremely hard to lose it from the areas where it’s most stubborn on my body, which for me is my thighs and hips area. I would love if it would magically fall off those areas, but alas it falls from the one area where I feel like a little extra fat makes me look exotic, more alluring and way more feminine!
There are actually scientific reasons why women tend to drop weight from their breasts before they drop it from most other areas of their body. The main reason is that this fatty tissue is pretty much considered “expendable” by the body. It is not extra padding that serves any extra purpose in an evolutionary sense, other than to feed and nourish an infant.
And for that, you realistically only need very little fat – it really just makes it a nicer experience for the infant to suckle on a larger, more cushy surface than a harder, less cushy one, so the additional fat really serves no biological purpose (except other than maybe to attract male suitors wink, wink).
Fat storage in other areas, like the hips and thighs, actually has shown some type of benefit to women in a biological sense. Women store a lot of their omega 3 fatty acids in the thigh area, which may explain why hippier women tend to be smarter (this is an inside joke, I’m actually a fuller figured woman in this area and I’ve talked to other women who have the same fat accumulation there), however it really is a scientific fact that for some reason, these beneficial fats do tend to be store in the thigh and hip area of women.
These fats also lend themselves to proper brain function, focus, clarity, mental health and a variety of other health and wellness issues, so the storage of fat there actually serves a purpose and this purpose may contribute to the fact that so many women find the fat there extra hard to shed when they’re going on a weight loss regimen.
Breasts are also not surrounded by muscles as the other fatty areas of our bodies are. So if you work out and build muscle in the target areas you’re trying to lose weight, they don’t lose bulk or fat as easily because they are surrounded by muscle.
Your breasts have an underlying pectoral muscle, but they don’t have any that go over or around the fat, which may explain why they are less likely to be so stubborn to lose local weight – they are literally just pretty much globs of fat! Wow, when you say it like that, it does make this body part which has been so adored and put on a pedestal for years much less sexy ?