Keep Your Eyes Open For Boobs!

Not just those of girls you haven't got a hope of attracting.

It's Breast Cancer Awareness Week I was reminded by Mia so check em all out at the Bloggers' Boobiethon!!



I have several breast cancer stories, obviously with 20+ years of working in the diagnositc imaging health profession I have a range of medical stories to amaze and astound. Ultrasound is a key diagnostic tool in the younger, denser, less fatty breast because they are not so easy to X-ray.

Here's one quick one story. A friend worked in a Breast Diagnostic Centre in Q'land doing ultrasound mainly for many many years. She stated that in all those years she only ever seen maybe three or four pairs of boobs that she would call "perfect".

Not too small, not too large, firm without being hard, no excess floppiness, smooth skin, nipples not too large or small etc. The reason for her findings being of course that women who have had kids, are fifty or older, coming in for screening, etc... form the vast majority of her patient demographic.

Perfect breasts. Sigh. [Aside: Actually the Ex's boobs were pretty damn good before the young'n came along as I remember. Even after. But don't tell her that, OK?]

Back to story: I was mainly an obstetric sonographer and, being a male working in the public hospital, didn't too all that many breast scans. Breast patients went to dedicated "Well Woman Centres" or to private clinics. However while I was in Sydney I needed to do some weekend locum work on occassion at a private clinic in order to make ends meet for my expensive and extensive social life.

On a Saturday morning I was the sole sonographer, so there were no females to do the "women's stuff" scans. A young female patient was in the waiting room. Eighteen/nineteen, I can't recall. She could have been a cat-walk model, an aerobics instructor, a $4000 a night hooker. Gorgeous sweet face, genuine smile, absolutely perfect body. I figured maybe she was pregnant, or had gall-stones from her obviously terrible diet. When I picked up the request however, it read: "Ultrasound breast lump".

Well here they were, I telegraphed my thoughts to my Q'land friend, that all too rare set of perfect breasts. Of course, it being part of my training, without demeaning or degrading her dignity as a human being (or compromising mine), I objectified her as being a universal patient having medical condition requiring my diagnostic skills. I am really serious here. It is an easy trick to perform after a while to turn off. Sometimes you come out of the scan room and you have been concentrating so hard on the images and trying to make the diagnoisi that you can't even remember whether the paitent was old or young, good-looking or ugly, male or female.

I scanned the area of the supposed lump. It was palpable, just under the skin about 3 cm below and lateral to the left nipple. A firm well-defined lump.

We even tried a new technique for that time called fremitus, whereby the paitent humns while you use motion detection software to see if the lump vibrates or not. By that fuzzy criterion the lump was benign.

But then an nonobjective thought popped into my head. All I could l think of was a quote from somewhere in school days I cannot recall (or find on Google). Blake? Shakespeare? Donne? Gray?

...the cancer in the perfect breast,
The canker in the rose.

Or something like that - but that is how I remember it. The Permance of Memory Lapse to misquote Dali.

She indeed had a real lump that would require further tests. It was an inflamed lymph node by my ultrasound criteria, about an inch around. Why would a breast lymph node be inflamed? Was it due to a benign infection (mastitis - but she wasn't breast-feeding, and the milk ducts weren't dilated) or due to infiltration with a cancer I couldn't find elsewhere in the breast?

I couldn't tell and in some ways it didn't matter. To be certain the doctor was going to at least request a biopsy, maybe even suggest excision of the lump.

I smiled as I let her leave and said that I hoped the rest of the results come back benign as our humming test. She smiled and left, seemingly not too perturbed.

I was devastated. I was really shocked and scared for her. It seemed so unfair, such a waste of an all too rare perfection. This poor kid. She had no idea what was in store for her.

Perfect breasts. O rose, thou art sick.

I hope the biopsy came back normal. At least she was not in denial and came in early, unlike some other patients' stories I could tell.

In the private clinics we don't have access to a patient's medical record and external test results the way that we do in a public hospital, so I don't know. I just don't know.

Keep an eye on your boobs, ladies, and do all your lumps searches regularly.



Posted by: expat@large on Oct 01, 06 | 8:11 pm | Profile


Thank You.

Posted by: Mia on Oct 01, 06 | 10:27 pm

I know someone who had to have her breasts removed. My mom had a lump removed recently. As a girl,woman, it's painful to know that there are people who have to go through these sorta experiences. you're right, life is unfair.


"It has been suggested in the past that females not use "man hands" to cover up their naughty bits. "

Damn....guess I'll just have to use the ol'
conventional lacy bra.*grin*

Posted by: VirginPornStar on Oct 02, 06 | 12:19 am

VPS wins the award for biggest blog tease.

Posted by: Indiana on Oct 02, 06 | 7:54 am

There is an award?

Posted by: Mia on Oct 02, 06 | 9:24 pm

Indy's having hormonal issues, just ignore him...

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 02, 06 | 9:53 pm

There's something from Joyce - Portrait of an Artist as A Young Man - but I don't think this is where the memory comes from.

It was nice and warm to see the lights in the castle. It was like something in a book. Perhaps Leicester Abbey was like that. And there were nice sentences in Doctor Cornwell's Spelling Book. They were like poetry but they were only sentences to learn the spelling from.

Wolsey died in Leicester Abbey
Where the abbots buried him.
Canker is a disease of plants,
Cancer one of animals.

It would be nice to lie on the hearthrug before the fire, leaning his head upon his hands, and think on those sentences. He shivered as if he had cold slimy water next his skin.

Posted by: expat@large on Oct 13, 06 | 12:42 am


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