The truth behind of what training animals for the circus looks like

Each October we are bombarded with breast cancer awareness campaigns, resulting in significant strides in earlier breast cancer detection. However, studies have shown that women facing breast cancer surgery are not always made aware of all their options. There has been little focus on awareness of surgical options and the breast reconstruction process. This might seem improbable, but I'm living proof that there is a gap in knowledge about surgical options.

When women are panicking from a breast cancer diagnosis, most won't spend time researching options. Since surgical techniques vary by hospital, it becomes more critical for proactive education. Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA Day) was created to address the educational gap. On Wednesday October 15, 2014 the third annual BRA Day will take place.

In regards to surgical options, lumpectomy is the least invasive option and it's a very common technique. In this technique, only the tumor is removed and as much remaining breast tissue as possible is left intact. However, depending on the tumor size and location, removal of the cancer might leave a noticeably deformed breast.

If more extensive surgery is required, the entire breast is removed, known as mastectomy. In this case, there then becomes a choice of whether the patient wants to remain without a breast or wants a new one to be created. Building a new breast is known as reconstruction and is performed by a Plastic Surgeon working in conjunction with the Breast Surgeon, who extracts the cancer. The procedures might be able to be completed during the same surgery or reconstruction may require an additional surgery later.

In the event that the patient chooses reconstruction after her mastectomy she may have multiple options in an ever-evolving process, thanks to our donation dollars and continued medical research.

The traditional reconstruction method entailed placing an expander under the skin during the mastectomy surgery. The expander is essentially an empty balloon. After the patient has recuperated from her surgery, the doctor will gradually inflate the balloon over several sessions, until the skin has been stretched out to the desired size, at which time the expander will be exchanged with an implant or other body tissue during a second surgery. A nipple can be added later, using flesh or a 3-D illusion tattoo, along with a tattooed areola, if desired. It can be a lengthy process. Even with the extended time and effort required, this option is still worthwhile for many women.

Further evolution of reconstructive surgery led to the "skin-sparing" mastectomy. In this case, the nipple and areola are removed, but the remaining skin is left intact. The internal breast tissue is removed and the cavity is filled with body tissue from another area or an implant or an inflated expander during the initial surgery. The patient would have a breast immediately, however, without a nipple or areola - both of which can be added later, if desired. If an expander is used, it will have to be swapped out with an implant or other body tissue later.

Nipple-sparing mastectomy, NSM, is currently the most technically advanced reconstruction option. In this case, the entire outer shell of the breast is left intact and only the internal breast tissue is removed. The remaining void is filled directly with body tissue or an implant or an inflated expander during the initial surgery. The result is similar to the skin-sparing mastectomy, but it's a more aesthetically pleasing outcome as the original nipple and areola are left intact.

All surgery options won't be offered at every hospital. In addition, not everyone is eligible for every surgical option. However, understanding the options that exist will allow a woman to make the most informed surgical choice should the need ever arise.

I created a Breast Cancer Surgery Options video that shows examples of these options and is certain to leave a lasting impression. Spending eleven minutes to become educated might make a huge difference for someone you love.

It is incredibly difficult for some people to understand the suffering that animals in the circus endure which is why images like the one below are so poignant.

The photographer, Chu Yongzhi, of the Zhejiang Daily Press, took this picture of a circus monkey cowering in terror as a trainer approached with a whip in hand.

Any animal lover who sees this picture cannot fail to be moved by the monkey’s obvious terror … not to mention the uncaring, unsympathetic stance of his or her trainer. While it is easy for us to feel helpless when confronted with such an obvious portrayal of this monkey’s suffering, we can also derive some comfort from the fact that the tide is slowly but surely beginning to turn against animal circuses. In recent years, a wide range of studies have demonstrated that bringing kids to a circus, zoo, or other captive animal facilities, in which the animals are expected to “entertain” human visitors does very little to help them empathize with the animals.
Breast cancer is a very important topic in women's health. It is one of the leading causes of death in women, and thousands of cases are discovered each year. While that is concerning news, the detection and care of such cancer has accelerated in development greatly over the years. Some examples of this are two of the most preeminent methods used to screen for malignancies, breast ultrasound and mammograms. Both of these techniques utilize different ways of finding and identifying tumors, and this often leads to a common question: which is superior? To determine an answer, let's look at both methods and how they work.

First, consider the mammogram. This medical procedure uses X-rays to generate images of a woman's mammary areas while pressed between two plates. In most cases, several images may be generated from different angles to offer a more complete view. Both breasts are imaged so that they can be checked and compared to one another and help identify any discrepancies. Mammograms are not only capable of detecting cancer, however. They can also pick up other abnormalities such as calcification, cysts, and fibroadenomas.

While mammograms are very useful, they do have their share of drawbacks. Since they rely on X-rays, they are not used on pregnant women, as the X-rays could be unhealthy for the unborn child. Some women find mammograms uncomfortable due to the positioning required to capture images of their breasts. One prevalent concern with mammograms is that they are not always accurate. They may notice something that seems to be abnormal, but may actually not be cancer or anything serious to take note of.

Next, we take a look at breast ultrasound, also known as sonography or elastography. This process utilizes waves of sound to deliver an image of a body part and is usually done by using a device called a transducer to transmit and receive high-frequency sound waves through the mammary area. Similar to echolocation, this produces a mapping from within the body, which is then used to examine and observe the area. It gives a clear view of soft tissue that may not be visible in an X-ray, and is very effective when viewing dense mammary tissue. Elastography is noninvasive and virtually painless.

Elastography is becoming a popular option for many women, but it is not a perfect means to detect tumors. There are some forms of cancer that it cannot detect. Another factor to consider is that it cannot offer a picture of the entire range, only able to focus on a certain area at a time.

So to return to the question posed at the outset, neither technique is truly superior to the other. As mentioned above, a mammogram can cover a much wider area of observation as it offers a much wider, open picture. And even though breast ultrasound covers a much smaller area, it is especially useful for taking a closer look at a smaller area and double-checking an anomaly that other methods were not able to fully identify. Both methods play a vital role in breast health for women.

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