Breast Self-Examination Aid
Disclaimer: I have no financial or other personal interest in this product, nor have I received anything for reviewing it. I bought my Sensability kit at my local Walgreen’s store, just as any other customer would.
The B-D Sensability Breast Self-Examination Aid is a circular pad about 10 inches in diameter. The pad consists of two plastic layers with a thin layer of a gel-like substance between them. The reasoning behind the design of this product is that the gel layer allows a woman’s fingers to move more freely and smoothly while she’s performing breast self-examination (BSE).
The kit contains both a videotape and written, illustrated instructions about how to use the Sensability pad. The videotape narrates the instructions in both English and Spanish. The written instructions explain the procedure in English, Spanish, French, and another language I don’t recognize. I found both the tape and the written instructions to be complete and easy to follow. The directions explain not only what to do, but why you are doing it. (For example, placing a pillow under your shoulder while lying down to examine your breast distributes the breast tissue more evenly than if you were to lie flat.)
The instructions direct you first to perform BSE with your bare hand, then to repeat the procedure with the Sensability pad. It may seem like overkill to perform the procedure twice, but the tactile sensation differs with and without the pad.
When you examine your breast with the Sensability pad, the bottom layer of the pad remains stationary while the top layer and the gel move. The gel acts as a kind of lubrication that allows your fingers to move freely. I found that the gel also seemed to make my fingers more sensitive than they were without the pad.
At my last clinical exam I asked my breast surgeon if she had heard of this product. She had not. I described it to her while she was performing an ultrasound examination on my breasts. She said that when she performs ultrasound, which uses a lubricating jelly, she thinks the jelly makes her fingers more slippery and sensitive. So, she said, there could be something to the Sensability design.
The pad is reusable and comes with a sealable plastic storage pouch. If the pad becomes soiled, you can rinse it in warm water. The kit retails for about $35 to $40.
Remember, though, that BSE should not replace other forms of screening for breast conditions. A complete breast cancer screening regimen consists of three components:
- regular BSE
- regular clinical examinations by a health practitioner
- regular mammograms as warranted by your personal medical situation