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We wish to acknowledge the Breast Cancer Detection program at Tucson, Arizona; and Mary E. Pautz, R.N., M.P.H., Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Nursing, for their guidance in the design of this Life/form® Breast Examination Simulator.
The Life/form® Breast Examination Simulator allows you to demonstrate proper techniques for breast examination in private or in group session and enables a woman to practice self-examination under the supervision of a health care professional without embarrassment.
The simulator allows women to practice all phases of breast examination in both sitting and supine positions. This lightweight simulator is designed with a concave back to allow placement against the patient for ease in demonstrating or practicing palpation techniques.
The Life/form® Breast Examination Simulator includes an American Cancer Society guide to breast examination. To provide maximum life for this simulator, it has been designed with replaceable components. Replacement skin and breast masses are available and can easily be installed.
- Fluid Breast Mass
In contrast to foam, which tends to compress under palpation, a fluid material has been used to simulate the breast mass. As you depress the mass, it displaces laterally to give realistic sensation.
- Palpable Ribs
To provide more realism, the simulator has been designed with palpable ribs. The fluid breast mass will allow the student or patient to palpate the chest wall and learn to distinguish the normal feeling of the ribs from abnormalities.
Both breasts include two different types of abnormalities. (See figure 1.)
- Left Breast
- Small Nodularity – Located in the upper, outer quadrant. Granular texture, usually bilateral, and may be associated with benign fibrocystic disease of the breast.
- Fibroadenoma – Located in the lower, inside quadrant. Freely movable, “slippery,” firm discrete mass usually benign, but must be diagnosed by biopsy.
- Right Breast
- Fixed Lump – Located in the upper, outer quadrant. Sometimes edges are indiscrete, hard, nonmovable. Can be indicative of malignancy.
- Fluid-Filled Cyst – Located in the lower, inside quadrant. Increased density in breast caused by fibrous tissue. Can be indicative of malignancy.
1a - Small nodularity; 1b - Fibroadenoma; 2a - Fixed lump; 2b - Fluid-filled cyst
The Life/form® Breast Exam Simulator may be used with or without the adjustable straps. Fasten upper straps around neck and lower (longest) straps around waist. Adjust the buckles so that the simulator lies comfortably in a natural position for breast self-exam.
- Demonstrate Proper Technique
Use model to demonstrate to the student or patient the proper method of palpating the breast.
- Supervise Practice
Have the student or patient practice the palpation techniques on the breasts while supervised to ensure that the examination is performed correctly.
- Deep Palpation
Have the student or patient palpate the chest wall to recognize the feeling of a normal rib formation.
- Detect Abnormalities
Tell the student or patient that there are abnormalities in the model without pointing out their locations. The student or patient should examine the model by palpation until all abnormalities have been located.
- Describe Abnormalities
Encourage the student or patient to describe the abnormalities: size, location, depth, firmness, etc.
- Encourage Frequent Self-Examination
Great care has been taken to design and produce the most realistic model possible for practicing breast palpation. If the model is used carefully and handled as one would a patient, this simulator will provide years of service.
- Store in Supplied Container
The vinyl skin of the model is subject to staining from inks. Avoid contact with printed surfaces.
When skin shows soiling, it can easily be cleaned with a mild solution of Ivory® liquid soap and water. Do not use abrasive or chemical cleaners. Nasco Cleaner (LF09919U) will remove stubborn stains from simulator. Simply spray soiled area and wipe clean with a soft cloth or paper towel.
- Replacing Components
Replacement parts are available for the breast mass and skin. Should it become necessary to replace any of these components, use the following instructions:
- Remove skin. Disconnect all snaps on back of model. (See figure 2.) Carefully stretch one corner of skin over frame of model. Other corners should be easily removed.
- Position breast masses. Lay model on its back on table and position both breast masses on foam back. Seams should be against back of model.
- While laying flat, place skin over model so breast masses will remain in proper location.
- Work skin over each corner of framework. Be careful not to stretch the skin to the extent that tearing will occur.
- Fasten snaps. Tip model upright and fasten snaps.
Solvents or corrosive materials will damage the simulator. Never place simulator on any kind of printed paper or plastic. These materials will transfer indelible stains. Ball-point pens will also make indelible stains.
LF01014U – Right Breast Mass Replacement: contains breast with fixed lump and fluid-filled cyst
LF00989U – Breast Exam Simulator Replacement Skin
LF09919U – Nasco Cleaner