Breast – The way we think about it.
The word ‘breasts’ evokes differing images, feelings and meanings for people regardless of their personal values, gender, religion or culture. Our breasts are part of the ‘whole’ person and can define who we are. Notably author Lisa Dodsworth’s book and photography “Bare Reality” (see image below) supports positive breast body imagery and sexuality. We know that huge differences in the meanings we attach to the breast exist in societies. Interestingly, the language used and subsequent attitudes towards the breast are dominant in the public mind, media and popular press. From the sexual to the functional purpose of the breast most people have a view. We can see this when we hear and read strongly held views about breast-feeding and the breasts cancer.
For many women their own breasts are private and play a significant role in their body image and sexuality. Self examination of the breast can come easy to some, indeed it can be part of their health routine, but for others can be challenging.
The breasts is not an object to be seen separate to the whole person. Seeing and understanding the whole person is essential in the context of the breast; women can feel embarrassed, exposed and uncertain about this intimate examination process. Following treatment for breasts cancer fears and anxieties about mammograms are real and profound. Extra care needs to be given to sensitivities to their needs and wants.
Myths and word of mouth are powerful amongst women and we are trying here to help demystify some of the issues that can put women off attending for screening. We encourage you to talk about some of these issues on the forum so that we can all become more comfortable in talking about the breast and supporting each other through breast screening.