Breast Self Exams: to do or not to do?

In 2002 a comprehensive 10 year study of Chinese factory workers to determine if knowledge of breast self exam (BSE) affected breast cancer mortality was published. This epidemiological study is cited as why BSE is no longer recommended. Unanswered questions include can the results of this study be generalized to different ethnicities, cultures, health systems and nationalities? Also prior to instruction 13.3% of control group (not BSE instructed) had practiced BSE in the past year. According to the authors: “Furthermore, a high proportion of women in the instruction group reported that they had found their breast cancer as a result of practicing BSE, and they sought medical attention after detecting their tumor in somewhat less time than did women in the control group”… Here is a copy of the 2002 paper.

Lady justice does not blink

Our nation has a long history of criminalizing poor and minority children. The early colonists brought with them notions of debtor prisons and children could be imprisoned because their parents were broke. The atrocities committed against slave children, native children, and children of indentured servants are shameful stains on our history. Post slavery,  children’s rights remained secondary to capitalist aspirations as poor children. So why are we surprised that lady justice sees nothing wrong when grown policemen touch female children inappropriately after-all  lady justice did not blink when the blood of children was spilled multiple times.

As it should

If silence surpassed  noise,

If ignorance bid knowledge lead,

If thoughts flowed ahead of words,

If action followed contemplation

then life could blossom

as it should…  Dec 1991

Just thinking out loud

From 2000-2001, I volunteered 3 Saturdays each month at the missionaries of Charity house in South East Washington DC. 1/3 of the time, I car-pooled with young adults from my parish. The other times I took the red line from Shady Grove and transferred to the blue line to Anacostia, and walked a few blocks through the neighborhood. I got to know a lot of people in the neighborhood, a couple of smiling cops; the familes that came weekly to the soup kitchen; a college drop-out who carried his chess board around and beat me in 4 moves… I became the fastest potato peeler in the kitchen, held babies in the home, and I chaperoned field trips with the sisters for the after school program. I spent so much time with the nuns in white and blue saris that they asked me if I was discerning a religious vocation. Of course not! Whenever I was in this run-down broken neighborhood, I was simply me, I did not stand out, I was not judged, I was at peace. Then 9-11 happened, I lost my job and I had to move.