The Underarm Fetish of A Scottish Surgeon

Breast checking, or to use your gyno's term, self breast exam, means under those armpits as well. And not just for the lumps and bumps of lymph nodes, red streaks, pimples and rashes (ok, rashes and pimples have nothing to do with your breasts for the most part, but I do get a lot of questions about those) but a good breast exam means an exam of the upper outermost portion of your breast known as the axillary tail, or tail of Spence. James Spence was the Edinburgh  Scotland chair of systematic surgery and he he published the Lectures on Surgery in 1871. The portion of the breast that extends into the underarm, and is thicker than the other portions of the breast, and is the continuation of that bulky upper outer quadrant of the breast is known as the Tail of Spence is named for this Scottish Surgeon. Some have called it the Spence Axillary Tail. Not really sure if he had a fetish, but I'm thinking maybe he did. I'm still searching for the authoritative work that led them to name that part of the breast after him. And though the anatomists of modern medical schools drop lots of famous names these days (call the Fallopian tube the uterine tube, etc) those of us gyno historians do get a special kick by musing on those that came before us. And if you know of a body part in search of a name, text me immediately, I'm wanting that naming that will just put me  into gyno lore with those I write of...and meanwhile, who you do your breast exam, maybe thinking of that underarm fetish of the Scottish Surgeon Spense will help you not skip that step!


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