ANST - [Chirurgeon]: Breast trauma and cancer -- Medical literature search

Tim Lozos dentim at
Thu Nov 6 05:17:56 PST 1997

This was on the Chirurgeon's list this morning.  Thought y'all could use the
Galen, (yet another one!) is a Medical Doctor who just moved here from the
East  Coast, and we are lucky to have him as a fellow Chirurgeon.  (by the
way, he wishes to be called Friar Galen, as his persona is a man of the

In Service,
Allysyn Kranidiana

>There has been a long discussion on the Ansteorian list regarding breast
protection in female fighters. Ansteorra has a rule that females must have
their chests covered with leather, and no such rule exists for males. The
majority of people posting to the list are in favor of abolishing the chest
protection requirment (at least to the level of Corporate). Here's some info
I dug up and thought might be of interest to the Chirurgeonate. 
>Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 22:14:34 -0600
>To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG
>From: "Keith E. Brandt, M.D." <wd9get at>
>Subject: Breast trauma and cancer -- Medical literature search
>OK, I dug around in the Medline Medical database for "breast trauma". I
came up with surprisingly few articles. Most dealt with breast
re-construction following cancer surgery. The few I did find, I have
summarized and placed on my web site:
>(Acrobat PDF reader [available for free on the web at] is needed to read this
>If you don't want to wade through those technical articles, here is the
bottom line:
>   Breast trauma doesn't cause breast cancer. Period. [or out of period,
for that matter! :-) ]
>It can cause fat necrosis (a breakdown of the fatty tissue) of the breast,
which leaves behind small particles of calcium which look suspicious for
cancer on a mammogram, and would need a biopsy to prove it isn't cancer
(don't want to fool around with anything that even remotely looks like cancer!)
>One author was worried about a blow to the breast causing a cancer already
in existence to spread. Another researcher replied that that was not
possible, and gave several good reasons why. There have been no studies that
actually looked at that question, but I tend to agree with the doc that says
it is not possible.
>An article about women and sports had a short section on breasts. They
recommended a good heavy sport bra for comfort (??). For large-breasted
women, they recommended good support that lifts and separates. Someone on
this list said that separate cups was a no-no. [I would be interested to
know why she said that.] 
>As far as armor requirements, I am rather shocked at what people in this
kingdom don't wear while fighting. I have previously fought in the East and
Middle where there are more strict armor requirements. [OK, I started out
with a freon tank helm and carpet armor, but I sure wouldn't go back to
that!]. My experience has been that people will typically do the minimum to
get by. If there were to be a major injury in a minimally armored fighter,
it will only serve to feed rumors that fighting is unsafe, despite our long
record of remarkable safety. [Yes, I have a scar on the forehead from above
said freon tank helm, shortly after which Duke Moonwulf crushed it!]. Case
in point is the recent rapier breakage and injury that caused rapier to be
banned in Atlantia [I think it was Atlantia anyway] about 6 months ago. So
frankly, I would be in favor of more stringent armor standards (especially
shoulder/collar bone protection). I don't, however, feel there needs to be
different standards for men and women. Hopefully common sense would rule. If
a lady is large breasted, the breast is more likely to be hit, and therefore
should be better protected. A lady who does not protrude so might be
adequately protected with a padded gambison (as would any male). 
>I would be glad to answer any more questions on the medical aspects of SCA
>In Service to Physick and Chirurgy
>Friar Galen of Ockham
>Journeyman Chirurgeon
>Barony of Bjornsborg
>Chirurgeon web page:
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