Monthly Archives: October 2013

Breast Cancer self-exam – early detection can change your life!!

Breast awareness and self-exam

Beginning in their 20s, women should be told about the benefits and limitations of breast self-exam (BSE). Women should be aware of how their breasts normally look and feel and report any new breast changes to a health professional as soon as they are found. Finding a breast change does not necessarily mean there is a cancer.

A woman can notice changes by knowing how her breasts normally look and feel and feeling her breasts for changes (breast awareness), or by choosing to use a step-by-step approach (with a BSE) and using a specific schedule to examine her breasts.

Women with breast implants can do BSE. It may be useful to have the surgeon help identify the edges of the implant so that you know what you are feeling. There is some thought that the implants push out the breast tissue and may make it easier to examine. If you choose to do BSE, the following information provides a step-by-step approach for the exam. The best time for a woman to examine her breasts is when they are not tender or swollen. Women who examine their breasts should have their technique reviewed during their periodic health exams by their health care professional.

It is acceptable for women to choose not to do BSE or to do BSE occasionally. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can also choose to examine their breasts regularly.

Women who choose not to do BSE should still know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any changes to their doctor right away.

How to examine your breasts

Lie down on your back and place your right arm behind your head. The exam is done while lying down, not standing up. This is because when lying down the breast tissue spreads evenly over the chest wall and is as thin as possible, making it much easier to feel all the breast tissue.

Use the finger pads of the 3 middle fingers on your left hand to feel for lumps in the right breast. Use overlapping dime-sized circular motions of the finger pads to feel the breast tissue.

Use 3 different levels of pressure to feel all the breast tissue. Light pressure is needed to feel the tissue closest to the skin; medium pressure to feel a little deeper; and firm pressure to feel the tissue closest to the chest and ribs. It is normal to feel a firm ridge in the lower curve of each breast, but you should tell your doctor if you feel anything else out of the ordinary. If you’re not sure how hard to press, talk with your doctor or nurse. Use each pressure level to feel the breast tissue before moving on to the next spot.

Move around the breast in an up and down pattern starting at an imaginary line drawn straight down your side from the underarm and moving across the breast to the middle of the chest bone (sternum or breastbone). Be sure to check the entire breast area going down until you feel only ribs and up to the neck or collar bone (clavicle).

There is some evidence to suggest that the up-and-down pattern (sometimes called the vertical pattern) is the most effective pattern for covering the entire breast without missing any breast tissue.

Repeat the exam on your left breast, putting your left arm behind your head and using the finger pads of your right hand to do the exam.

While standing in front of a mirror with your hands pressing firmly down on your hips, look at your breasts for any changes of size, shape, contour, or dimpling, or redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin. (The pressing down on the hips position contracts the chest wall muscles and enhances any breast changes.)

Examine each underarm while sitting up or standing and with your arm only slightly raised so you can easily feel in this area. Raising your arm straight up tightens the tissue in this area and makes it harder to examine.

This procedure for doing breast self-exam is different from previous recommendations. These changes represent an extensive review of the medical literature and input from an expert advisory group. There is evidence that this position (lying down), the area felt, pattern of coverage of the breast, and use of different amounts of pressure increase a woman’s ability to find abnormal areas.

What to do for Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Elle Magazine

October is international breast cancer awareness month. According to CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa) breast cancer is the most common cancer among South African women, however, a diagnosis does not have to be a death sentence if it is detected early enough.

Get involved and make a difference by supporting these organisations or joining a breast cancer event this month.

Blackberry Pink Polo


Watch this classy sport at the stunning Val de Vie Estate on 26 October. Choose between three different packages:

1. Pink Polo Market: get the full market experience by choosing from a selection of delicious foods and soaking up live music performances.

2. Tailgating: park your car next to the polo field and enjoy the service of a butler for the day.

3. Pink Polo Pavilion: General access to the Polo Pavilion, which includes high tea, an arrival drink, best-dressed competitions, lucky draws, a fashion show, pop-up stores and a gift bag.

Find out more:

Cancer Buddies

At Cancer Buddies, survivors become mentors to individuals who have just been diagnosed. As the mentors and mentees are paired according to age, types of cancer and background they form close relationships that gives cancer patients some much-needed support as they go through their treatment.

Support them:

Journey of Hope

Journey of Hope is made up of 15 daring breast cancer survivors who travel the country on Honda motorcycles in aid of breast cancer awareness. The ladies give educational talks and raise funds while they travel.

Support them:

Breast Cancer Walkathon

Avon Justine iThemba Crusade of Hope Breast Cancer Walkathon

On Sunday 27 October, the Avon Justine iThemba Crusade of Hope Breast Cancer Walkathon takes place in Emmarentia, Joburg. Participants can choose to either take part in the 5km or 8km walk and enjoy a fun array of festivities at the finish line.

Support them:

Pink Drive

This organisation gives free mammograms and clinical breast exams to individuals who do not have medical aid. Their pink mobile mammography units travel across the country to diagnose and educate women about breast cancer.

During the month of October, the women’s health club, Curves, will donate R100 for every new member who joins their club. Proceeds from the lanyards, key rings and T-shirts they sell will also go to the Pink Drive.

Join the Pink Tie Dinner Dance on 11 October at Emperor’s Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng if a classy evening is more your thing.

Support them:

Pink Hair Show You Care

Join brand ambassadors Cindy Nell-Roberts, Karlien Van Jaarsveld, Tamara Dey, Jeannie D and Melinda Bam by wearing pink Great Lengths 100% natural human hair extensions.

Great Lengths, in conjunction with CANSA is donating the profit from the sales of pink hair extensions for the month of October. Visit one of over 250 Great Lengths partner salons countrywide to have your pink extensions attached. The pink extension will cost R100.00.

For more information contact visit

The Twelve Apostles Hotel’s Pink High Tea

Enjoy the classiest high tea in town while supporting a good cause. The Pink High Tea at The Twelve Apostles Leopard Bar takes place every day throughout October for only R145 and R10 of each tea stand sold will be donated to CANSA.

At the high tea you will be welcomed with a glass of pink bubbles and enjoy a delectable array of savoury and sweet treats.

To make a reservation contact: 021 437 9029 or

Host a Cuppa

le creuset host a cuppa for cansa

Le Creuset has joined forces with CANSA to Host-a-cuppa for CANSA. ‘Host a Cuppa’ is about family, friends, survivors and acquaintances getting together to host a tea party and ask guests to make a donation to CANSA.

Le Creuset is giving the most creative tea parties a chance to win one of three Le Creuset Hampers, valued at R1 000 each. The most inspirational and inspiring tea party event will win a R10 000 Le Creuset Shopping Spree.

All you need to do is submit your photos and story to Entries must be sent before 31 October 2013.

For some inspiration and ideas visit

October is the month of Pink!!

October is Pink Month and here at Val de Vie Estate, us girls from Maureen@BeautifulHomes are going all out!!

October is breast cancer month, an important time to increase awareness about the disease. While many of us are aware of breast cancer, it’s vital to know about early detection and to each others about it too.

The month of pink will end with a big bash at BlackBerry Pink Polo on 26 October, which is held to raise funds and awareness for Reach for Recovery in aid of breast cancer. Visit our Calendar for all the details on buying tickets, we look forward to seeing you there!