WHAT IS PTOSIS?

There are stereotypes about women getting older and having sagging breasts.

Many a comedian has made endless jokes about their aunt or grandmother having sagging breasts, where it has become something that is unavoidable among women – that every woman will go through it.

While it may not be universal, it is true that there are several factors that go into the condition, not just in terms of the condition happening, but also the severity of the condition.

The condition is medically called ptosis, and it is common among women, and there are several reasons or causes that go into it, and one factor has been debunked after being considered common-knowledge.

Breast sagging can occur in most but not all women, and it can come from fat and muscle in the breasts atrophying over time, plus loss of elastin in the skin, which allows skin to remain elastic and youthful and can hold up a breast. While small-breasted women have an advantage in having little to no ptosis, the condition can happen in virtually all women to some degree.

The main factors that cause ptosis in women include:

  • The natural force has a particular effect on larger-breasted women, especially those who have breasts that may be disproportionately large for the body type.
  • Pregnancy history. A study by researchers found that there is a high correlation between ptosis and the number of pregnancies a woman has – a direct correlation, where the more pregnancies, the deeper the sag, or ptosis, of the breast.
  • Cigarette smoking. Those who smoke cigarettes tend to contribute to ptosis prematurely and/or a deeper sag because cigarette chemicals break down the elastin in the skin, which weakens the skin so it can’t support the breast any longer.
  • Heavyweight loss (or gain). It turns out that a woman who loses or gains 50 pounds or more is more susceptible to greater levels of ptosis.
  • Body mass index (BMI). Women with a larger BMI tend to have a greater sag in their breasts.
  • Breast and cup size. The larger the breast, and the larger the cup size, the bigger the sag. And it can be either breast or cup size; it doesn’t have to be both.

Most of these factors and causes will likely not surprise anyone. When looking at each of these, ptosis can easily occur to virtually every woman to some extent, as some of these factors are beyond a woman’s control.

The research that brought about the revelation of these factors was actually begun by a common question among plastic-surgery patients: Does breastfeeding cause sagging?

A number of patients of plastic surgeon Brian Rinker of the University of Kentucky were looking for breast lifts or breast augmentations, and many of them had breastfed their children, so they had presumed that nursing was what caused the sagging, especially for women who were not post-menopausal and/or middle-aged.

What Rinker’s research found was that, in fact, all the factors listed above had much greater correlation to ptosis than breastfeeding; so much so that Rinker couldn’t say that breastfeeding was even a factor at all in the condition.

Now that you know, what will you do next?

WHY MAMMOGRAMS?

Science and medicine have undergone amazing transformations thanks to technological advancements over the centuries. Over the last 100 years, several tests and scans have come to the fore to more accurately diagnose physical problems, sometimes even in anticipation of a future problem.

It all started with the x-ray in the late 19th century and has expanded in meaningful ways since. Now with MRIs, CT scans, mammograms and other tests, there are literally hundreds of diseases and disorders that can be spotted early, or even predicted in some cases, which of course makes treatment options more comprehensive and makes recovery prognoses better.

With that, most of these technologically advanced tests have their own risks as well as rewards. The risks might be relatively small compared to the disease that may be caught, but they may be enough to cause some patients to take pause whether to consent to a certain test. Mammograms can often be one of these tests.

Why are mammograms so important, when women have the monthly self-exam?

Believe it or not, self-exams can be effective, but mammograms have evolved to a point now that they can note changes in the breast which signal cancer as much as two years before anything can be felt by the woman or a physician. And of course, the earlier a cancer is caught, the more likely it can be eliminated and the more likely a woman’s breast can be preserved.

It is reported that five of every 1,000 women who get mammogram screenings will get diagnosed with breast cancer, and about three-fourths of those are first-generation cancer patients – in other words, they had no family history of the disease and were not considered “high risk.”

The good news is that over the last 25 years, mammograms have helped reduce mortality rates for women with breast cancer by as much as 40 percent.

While mammograms aren’t perfect – they can miss up to 20 percent of cancers – they are perhaps the best, most reliable tool to detect breast cancer. About 10 percent of patients who get mammograms will be asked to conduct future testing – perhaps a biopsy or an MRI, for example –to follow up on any anomalies detected in a mammogram. However, most of the anomalies do not result in cancer.

Once a woman hits the age of 40, it si reported that 1 in 69 such women are at risk of getting breast cancer sometimes during the decade of the 40s, and it’s estimated that 1 in 6 breast cancers are established at some poit during the ages of 40-49.

However, the largest risk factor for breast cancer is a woman who turns the age of 50. This is partly why professionals recommend that women get mammograms every single year once they hit 40, at the very least the age of 50. It turns out that when a woman over the age of 50 skips mammograms every other year, about 30 percent of cancers get missed.

Mammograms can be vital tools in the fight against breast cancer, but they are not forced upon women. Those who care about their health are encouraged to get a mammogram every year starting at age 40, even as part of an annual physical, in order to remain vigilant – the sooner the cancer is caught, the more options that are available and the better the prognosis for full recovery.

How To Feel Sexy After Surviving Breast Cancer

Returning to intimacy after surviving any form of cancer is important. According to a study in October 2014, female cancer survivors experience sexual dysfunction post treatment. This stems from body image issues and the fear that their loved ones will no longer find them attractive in their new body. They stress about weight loss, hair loss, lopsided breasts from reconstruction, lack of nipples, and much more.

If you are feeling this way, it’s nice to know that you are not alone. But through time and a little effort, you can restore intimacy and learn to love yourself again.

Here are some ways that you can start to feel sexy:

1. A lingerie shopping spree! A good high-quality piece of lingerie that extenuates all the right places can make you forget the scars or misshapen breasts and make you feel like a strong confident woman. There are several post mastectomy bras available online.

2. Try some blindfold play in the bed room! Blindfold your partner and let them explore your body with just their lips. You’ll never know what new areas of your body will stimulate your senses.

3. Lap dance! Dancing increases blood flow and can help tone muscles.

While these tips are fine for making you feel sensual again, the true way to feel sexy is to love yourself. Take for instance, this woman’s inspiring story:

History Of The Mammography

Happy 40th birthday! The big 4-0 is a big milestone to reach, and you should be proud of yourself. But 40 is also an important time in your life in regard to medical checkups, especially for mammograms. Some of you may be wondering how mammograms came about and what improvements have been made to them over the years.

In the 1960s, radiologists performed mammography exams using general purpose X-ray tubes, without compression. They captured the imaging onto direct-exposure films, similar to chest X-rays. These were low-contrast images and the area of tissue close to the chest wall appeared “white” due to underexposure.

A decade later, mammography advanced significantly with the introduction of screen-film mammography, which made imaging faster, required lower radiation dose, and provided greater contrast, making it easier to “see through” breast tissues. Improvements in screen-film technology and the establishment of dedicated mammography units during the 1980s and 1990s improved mammography even more.

As the technology improved, mammography screenings became more common due to two factors. First, the results of multiple randomized and controlled trials demonstrated the effectiveness of mammographies in lowering breast cancer mortality rates. Second, the development of effective pre-operative image-guided wire localization techniques made it easier to make tissue diagnosis for suspicious lesions detected by mammograms.

The 90’s saw an uptick in mammography use, resulting in an increase in mammography regulations as well. As the exam became widely used and breast cancer received more publicity, concerns about mammography quality grew. After uncovering various quality issues, a series of Congressional hearings were dedicated to mammography, leading to the Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992, forcing uniform standards nationwide, affecting the quality of breast imaging as well as the standards that radiologists must comply with.

Around 2000, breast imaging experienced another significant advancement with the introduction of digital mammography. While digital mammography procedures are essentially the same as X-ray mammographies from the patient’s point of view, the new digital mammography machines produce images that can be read on computers rather than X-ray film, which has improved oncologist’s ability to identify symptoms, give diagnoses, and treat their patients.

As expected, most radiology practices in the U.S. now use digital mammography rather than analog film, as it provides better images with improved tissue contrast. This is important for patients with dense breast tissue, especially younger patients, who tend to have denser breasts than older patients. Digital mammography is also beneficial compared to more traditional mammographies as the patient receives less radiation exposure.

Moving forward, digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) is an emerging technology that captures multiple low-dose mammographic images of the breasts. DBT has been shown to reduce false-positives and improve detection of invasive cancers. Hence, DBT has been called “a better mammogram” and will likely become the standard for mammographic screening.

Mammography has come a long way from its humble beginnings of direct-exposure films. Breast imaging radiologists now have more tools in their arsenal than ever before. As additional technological innovations are achieved, mammography is expected to remain a critical part of early detection efforts.

Early detection remains critical to reducing mortality. Mammography remains the most effective and cost-effective tool for detecting breast cancer and we recommend annual mammography screening beginning at age 40.

The History of Breast Cancer

Despite what people may think, Breast Cancer has been around since ancient times and is not “a modern disease”. But the empowerment movement behind breast cancer survivors is a recent phenomenon. Unlike other cancers, cancers tumors found in the breasts are very visible. Many women, were embarrassed by it and were afraid to come forward with their illness. Now, we stand together as women and support research and overcoming this terrible disease.

Breast Cancer In Ancient Egypt and Greece

About 3,500 years ago, Ancient Egyptians indicated that there were bulging tumors of the breast for which there was no cure.

In 460 B.C, Hippocrates (for which doctor’s Hippocratic Oath is named), the Ancient Greek, made note of breast cancer as a “humoral disease.” Hippocrates believed that the body contained 4 humors – blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. Cancer was caused by too much black bile. Hippocrates came to this conclusion because when breast cancer tumors are left untreated they break through the skin releasing black fluid.

In AD 200, another Ancient Greek, Galen described cancer as well. He also believed that cancer was caused by black bile but noted that some tumors were more dangerous than others.

Breast Cancer in 17th and 18th Century

Galen was the leading physician on Breast Cancer until about the late 1600s. Francois de la Boe Sylvius challenged the reigning theory that black vile was the cause of cancer saying it was the fluid in the lymphatic system changing from acidic to acrid. Claude-Deshais Gendron also rejected the black vile theory and proposed that cancer was caused when nerve and glandular tissue mixed with lymph vessels.

One interesting theory presented in 1713 by Bernardino Ramazzini was the lack of sex caused breast cancer due to the high-frequency of women in the nunnery developing breast cancer. He believed that without regular sexual activity the sex organs develop cancer. Other interesting theories include curdled milk, puss inflammations, mental disorders, and not having children.

Finally, in 1757, Henri Le Dran removed the first breast cancer tumor. This became the standard treatment of breast cancer up until the 20th century.

Breast Cancer in the 19th and 20th Century

The development of antiseptic, anesthesia and blood transfusion allowed surgical removal of breast cancer to be performed. William Halstead of New York made breast surgery the gold standard for almost 100 years. He developed the mastectomy – a procedure that removed the breast, nodes in the armpits and chest muscles – which would hopefully prevent cancer from spreading.

In 1895, a Scottish surgeon George Beaston noticed that removing ovaries shrank a patient’s breast cancer. Soon women were having their breasts and ovaries removed. The theory was that estrogen was causing breast cancer. Soon women were having their adrenal gland and pituitary gland removed as well to help stop the production of “cancer-causing” estrogen.

Development Of The Systemic Theory

In 1955, George Crile suggested that cancer was not a localized disease and in fact spread throughout the body. Soon breast cancer was being treated with radiation or chemotherapy rather than being treated with mastectomies. Since then there have been several modern technological breakthroughs such as the development of mammograms, discovering of breast cancer causing genes and hormone treatments.

Grassroots Efforts to Promote Breast Cancer Research

We would one day like to live in a world where breast cancer is an afterthought. Until that day comes, there are many ways that you can do your part to fight this terrible disease which has taken from us mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, wives and other loved ones. One of the easiest things that you can do is participate in a local walk-a-thon or short race. Just realizing that you and your family are not alone in fighting cancer can be monumental for some. Of course, raising money for breast cancer research is critical to fighting the disease, but make sure that you do your own research into the charities that you chose to donate to. If you’re looking for other ways to get involved, check out this great video of UMass students and faculty doing their part to spread awareness about products with cancer-causing agents in them. Great job guys!

Why is Pink The Breast Cancer Color?

Most of us wear the pink ribbon without taking into consideration why the color is associated with breast cancer, and that’s because most of us don’t feel the need to know. If that’s who you are, then that’s okay. But some of us are more inclined to figure out the little bits of trivia in the connections between color and some of the causes we find most dear. Pink is for breast cancer, blue is for child abuse awareness, yellow is used to support our troops, and red is used to acknowledge a person’s support in the battle against HIV and AIDS. Why is that the case?

There are more colors for more causes, and each has a defining reason behind it. This is the reason why the color pink is the breast cancer color.

Founded in 1982, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was created by Susan’s younger sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker. Susan died at the young age of 33 after a battle with breast cancer, and Nancy wanted people to be better aware of the disease in order to increase early detection and hopefully prevent more cancer from developing in the first place. It was the best way for her to honor her sister’s memory and help others in the process. The new foundation used pink as its color of choice when providing pink visors in the Komen Race for the Cure, held annually.

Only a decade later, it was universally adopted in the fight against breast cancer. Alexandra Penney, the editor-in-chief of Self magazine in New York City, used a pink ribbon during a new issue as an icon in awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Penney used her sway with the big names inside of the cosmetic industry to hand out pink ribbons in stores all over the place, and the trend caught on in a big way. Now there are pink ribbons everywhere, and everyone knows exactly what they stand for.

One in eight women living in the United States of America will be forced to deal with breast cancer during their lives, while one in a thousand men will have to do the same. Over 300,000 new cases of one kind or another are diagnosed in women each year, while about 2,470 men will be diagnosed with the invasive form. About 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in 2017.

New research is playing a role in the fight against breast cancer, and there may be an end in sight. Until that day arrives, you can do your part by supporting the women in your life or donating to those who are attempting to eradicate this disease once and for all.

Parts Of A Breast

Most of us are more interested in looking at them than learning about them, but if you really want to know more about the female form then you should probably start with the breasts. There’s more to them than meets the eye, and women should be aware of the functions of the breast in order to properly care for and monitor the body part for signs of disease or cancer. These are the most important parts of a breast and their functions.

They’re also called mammary glands, and believe it or not men have them too. During puberty, some young boys might experience the growth of breast tissue. Most do not.

Depending on where you live and how society views the breast, there is a psychological association to a woman’s sexuality. Like with all things in life, we’re obsessed with size as a people. Women who have smaller breasts might have self-esteem or self-image issues, but the size of the breasts has no bearing on other functions. Because of this factor, the loss of breasts following breast cancer or another disease can result in psychological issues that should be treated with professional help.

The breasts perform two primary roles during child rearing: one, the breasts are used to provide sustenance in the form of milk to a woman’s children. Two, it offers the child immunological protection. This protection stems from antibodies, vitamins, enzymes, and chemical mediators in breast milk that strengthens a child’s immune system and reduces the chances of a child developing certain allergies later in life.

The part of the breast we see is made up of the skin, areola, and nipple. Underneath is breast tissue or stroma. Interlobular stroma helps protect and support the breasts. Intralobular stroma houses all the tissue which provides functionality to this body part. The alveoli, or acini, and nearly two dozen lobules in the mammary gland help produce milk, which can then be drained out of terminal and lactiferous ducts and into the lactiferous sinus where it stays until the hungry baby (usually) is ready for a meal. The ducts and lobules are complemented with a lining of luminal epithelium cells, behind which is an epithelial layer of muscle called the myoepithelium. When a baby suckles, these muscles contract and squirt the milk out of the breast. Yummy!

The breasts can also perform a sexual function during intercourse. Because stimulation of the female nipples services the region of the brain associated with clitoral, cervical and vaginal stimulation, a woman can achieve orgasm through and in the breasts, causing them to grow in size up to twenty-five percent (an aforementioned plus for most men). They become more sensitive, and the additional blood can cause changes in hue.

Where Did Boob Come From?

A lot of the words we use on a regular basis have mysterious or obscure beginnings, and even though there are a great many obsessive fans of the most popular female body part–the breasts–you might have trouble finding someone who really knows where the accompanying favorite word “boob” actually came from or how it stuck. So why do we use the word boob in place of breasts? Is it just because we like to sound less scientific when we’re in the bedroom or hanging out with friends, and boob sounds more light-hearted and fun? Well, here’s what we know for sure about where the word “boob” came from (and it’s not much).

First, you might want to note that not all cultures sexualize a woman’s breasts. We hide much of the female form behind clothing (or at least some overbearing male figures–i.e. Politicians, law practice software fans and old people–try to force women to do so). If we didn’t, then perhaps people would find less appeal in a woman’s breasts. Thus does the “free the nipple” campaign exist. Although there are plenty of women who have no trouble staring at a guy’s chest, the male form isn’t nearly as sexualized. It depends mostly on where you live.

In the sixteenth century, new insults cropped up (let’s face it, new insults crop up no matter when you live). If you really wanted to insult your neighbor’s taste in farming technique, you might refer to him as a boob or booby. The words were basically synonymous with the word “stupid” but hardly an insult that would rock someone’s world. Where people got the words is still up for debate. Perhaps boob is loosely derived from the Latin word for “stammering”, “balbus.” Balbus was the primary reason that the Spanish found the word “bobo”, which also means stupid. It isn’t so far-fetched to think that perhaps the archaic use for boob comes from the Spanish word bobo.

Maybe that’s not where it comes from, though.

As far as we know, the earliest use of the word boob meaning breast graced Henry Miller’s Tropic of cancer. The famous line is as follows: “She was lying on the ground with her boobies in her hands.” Interesting.

There has to be more to it, though. Right?

Right you are. The Latin word for “little girl” is puppa. From puppa came the German word “bubbi.” From bubbi came the English word “bubby.” The word “bubby” started in the late seventeenth century as slang. So the word “boob” most likely comes from the Latin word that meant “little girl.” Aren’t you glad you’re informed now? Now when you call someone a boob, you know that you’re also potentially insulting masculinity, gender identity, and maturity! Good job!

The Most Famous “Boobs” Of All Time

You probably won’t be too hard pressed to find a guy who loves boobs–but then again gender and sexuality may have nothing to do with their mysterious allure. Luckily for those of us who love them to death, it’s just as easy to find a pair of famous boobs that suffered from the TV nip slip, enjoyed the Playboy treatment, or were the subject of an erotic Hollywood movie masterpiece. Then again, it’s not always about the real-life experience. The naked form is a permanent part of popular culture in the form of famous art. So what are the most famous boobs of all time? Here are just a few of our favorite pairs!

The famous painter Botticelli graced us all with an artistic peek at the most elusive parts of Venus’s body. We’ll be forever grateful for the fantasy.

Sometimes you can’t always get what you’re after, and such is the case with Jayne Mansfield. Her cleavage was widely sought after at the time, and the dresses she wore catered to her male fans.

Take a look at Bettie Page, and you’ll be mesmerized for one reason or another. Her form offers a stark difference to the typical Hollywood fare, but it never hurt her beauty even a little bit.

Brigitte Bardot was an icon in the ‘50s because she wasn’t afraid to bare it all. Because of this rare degree of exhibitionism for the time period, she acquired a number of fans both at home and abroad, and her career in film took off quickly.

Who wouldn’t want to take a gander at the form of Wonder Woman? We’re talking about the Wonder Woman of the ‘70s during a budding era of sexuality and exposure, not today’s form. One of the first female superheroes generated a lot of buzz at the time because of her revealing costumes, and the actresses who were lucky enough to play her exposed a lot of skin as well–making her just as popular with men as she was with women.

In the 1982 movie Fast Times, Phoebe Cates did a bit of showing off, garnering her the attention of, well, everyone who enjoys the female form. She would have been only nineteen years old at the time, and she already looked pretty young in the first place. We can only imagine that she was fending off pervy old men for quite a while thereafter.

You know the name Dolly Parton, and while she’s famous for a lot of reasons, her boobs are definitely among the top few. They’re large and bouncy and much loved by a great many fans.

In stark contrast to why we love Dolly, Kate Moss proves that you don’t necessarily have to have the biggest pair to have the biggest following. She was a jaw-dropping sight on the runway, and she had men drooling for years.