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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Printable Stick Figure BSE -royalty free

This is Rebecca. She's a stick figure. I've been thinking about doing some sort of stick figure breast self-exam printable for a while now that could be included in things people sell to help raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. It was one of those ideas that kept being shelved until today. So here it is, in 2 sizes. So you can print it to fit one page, or you can print two copies on one page and cut the page in half.
Add your own text if you wish.

The reason it finally came off the back burner is two-fold. The first is the lady I named the stick figure after, she's a very good friend of mine who was diagnosed last year with breast cancer. She went through treatment, and at this point the prognosis looks very good. It's been scary, but she faced it with dignity, and she's in my thoughts right now.

The second reason is because today was my first mammogram. People told me lots of horror stories about how awful it was, and truly, it wasn't. My appointment was at 10 am. Since I had to be somewhere at 11 I was a little worried about how long it would take. The technician told me that it wasn't going to be a problem.

(skip this part if you don't want to get too personal!)

First I had to change into a cape sort of thing, and she asked if I was wearing deodorant or powder because that's a no-no. Then she explained what she was going to do. She placed small adhesive bandages that were printed with flowers and had tiny metal balls in the middle over my nipples. This was to mark their location since they don't show on a mammogram. Then I had to step up very close to the machine, hugging it almost, so she could do one breast at a time. My breast was spread horizontally between two plates. Hold my breath while she takes the picture, repeat for the other side. There was some pressure, but nowhere near the  "wringer" effect that I'd been warned about. Then she repeated the process, this time vertically.
If you have any moles, skin tags or other things like that, they may mark them with something like a hole reinforcement ring that will show up on the mammogram so the person looking at them knows that's something on the outside of the breast.
I was out of there and where I needed to be with time to spare, even with her careful explanations and the fact it was my first time. The worst part about the whole procedure was taking the bandages off after it was over.
It's not a lot of fun, but it's also not horrible. Since this was my first time, it's to establish a baseline, and she explained that I'll probably have to come back since there are frequently irregularities that need to be checked out when establishing that baseline.


  1. Congrats on getting through your first mammogram! And thanks for this really vital printable. I think it's important to talk about these things. It's courageous of you to share your experience!

    1. Thank you for the nice comment. I really appreciate it.

  2. Shala, I had my first one last year & mine was the same, it was a bit of pressure but not the "wringer" effect like you mentioned. I think it depends on the technology,as it has gotten better there is less of a need to treat them like they are going thru a hand clothes washer! Also I was told I might have to have another one cuz of the baseline thing but I did not. So here's to hoping that you dont have to but if you do then at least you know what to expect! I also like the BSE info. very cute yet to the point!

    1. I think you're right, the technology has changed. I'm glad you like my little stick figure printable BSE info!

  3. Shala, thank you for sharing Rebecca with us. Very inspiring and appropriate for educational material. I would like re-post your poster and Rebecca's photo on our blog Multicultural Breast Health (MBH) Edmonton here:
    Best of luck,

  4. Thank you so much for making this! I have been searching for a less anatomically correct version of the self check how-to for a prominent bulletin board on my busy hospital ward. This will be perfect.


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