by Melissa Jaramillo
Boobs...we love 'em, hate them...often ignore them.
We dress them up and show them off or take the "cover and hide" approach.
At the end of the day, many of us unleash them with a silent -- or not so silent -- cry of "freedom!"
We invited our members to take part in a light-hearted poll about what they thought about their breasts and breast size. The results were not what we expected!
Here are the results. We've shared a sampling of the comments. After all, what's a little boob talk among sisters?
10 percent answered, "Yes! My boobs are practically perfect in every way!"
15 percent said they were undecided. "My breasts are "otherwise occupied" (pregnant or nursing) and I'm waiting to see the final product!"
20 percent answered, "No, I want more 'va-va' in my 'vaVOOM!'"
25 percent answered, "My size is OK but should they be pointing south?"
30 percent answered, "No, I need LESS. My 'cup' runneth over!"
Our members shared their thoughts:
"I want more! I've always been small so I was really looking forward to pregnancy boobage but I don't see much improvement yet. They're definitely fuller but I haven't had to run out and but bigger bras yet. Hopefully soon!" JFA says.
"Mine are just unruly right now. I think it's time to buy a bigger bra or something, because they were threatening to pop out of my normal size yesterday. An embarrassment of riches!" Alissa says.
"Holy heck, ladies! Now I know why I don't have much boobage -- y'all stole it! I don't think it would have killed you to redistribute the riches. I'm small. Just the way it is. Never really cared much. I do love the very sexy bras with the built-in boobs though," EW teases.
Breasts come in a variety of sizes. Too big or too little can cause a problem. Some of us will face another problem -- breast cancer.
If you've been diagnosed with the disease, or watched a friend or family member have to deal with it, you want to know. Many risk factors play a role -- your genetic makeup, whether you've had kid or breastfed. A body of research indicates that exposures to common chemicals and radiation may contribute to the incidence of breast cancer.
Lower your risk. Body weight, physical activity and diet have all been linked to breast cancer. To possibly lower your risk:
✓ Get regular physical activity
✓ Reduce your weigh if you need to
✓ Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
✓ Limit your alcohol intake
✓ Avoid chemicals that mimic estrogen
Find breast cancer early. Screening helps you find breast changes before you have symptoms. The early breast cancer is found, the better chances that treatment will work.
✓ Breast self-exam: Starting in your early 20s, you can examine your breasts monthly for dimpling, lumps, swelling and other skin changes. If you notice any, contact your doctor. Most of the time, these changes aren't cancer.
✓ Clinical breast exam: During your 20s and 30s, a clinical breast exam should be part of your regular check up every three years. Beginning at age 40, experts recommend that you have a yearly breast exam by a health professional.
✓ Mammogram: The U. S. Preventative Service Task force recommends a screening every other year for women aged 50 to 75, but not routinely for younger women. This recommendation has not been accepted by the American Cancer Society who endorse screening mammograms every year for women over 40.
✓ Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): The American Cancer Society recommends that women at high risk should get an MRI and a mammogram every year.
✓ Other screening tests such as thermography which uses infrared imaging instead of radiation and ultrasound can detect breast changes. At present neither is approved by the FDA to replace mammography.
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.