Fall Skin Care Tips and Sun Safety

Breast Cancer Awareness, Health Tips, iGoPink Blog, Think PINK Tips!, Uncategorized, Wellness & Fitness 1 Comment
 Set of 5 Different Autumn's Banners

Just because summer is coming to an end, does not mean you stop protecting your skin! Soaking up some sun at a fall festival or simply taking a walk outside can help you to receive an essential dose of Vitamin D, but you still need to take precautions. Follow these tips to take care of your skin this fall – and in every season:

  • DO regularly receive 15-20 minutes of midday sun exposure, exposing as much of the skin as possible while being careful not to burn.
  • DO wear sunscreen. Sunny, Cloudly, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter – always! Wear sunscreen that is non-toxic and free of dyes, fragrance, and chemical irritants.  Tinted sunscreen is another product that protects your skin and which a touch of color.
  • DO wear a hat! The skin around your eyes and face is thinner than the rest of your body. Protect your skin by keeping your eyes shaded with a hat.
  • DON’T over expose your skin to the sun! Just because temperatures are lower, doesn’t mean you won’t burn or damage your skin. Too much sun speeds up your skin’s aging process and causes wrinkles, sun spots and damage. If you did soak up too much sun, Photofacials are a way to keep skin healthy and helps to remove sun spots or other pigmentation irregularities.
Have a fun and safe fall!
Set of 5 Different Autumn's Banners / Nature

Lychelle Jomsky
 is a member of The Breast Cancer Charities of America’s Advisory Board and a RN, Advanced Injector, and Senior Certified Laser Technician at Seychelles Med & Laser Spa in The Woodlands, Texas. Seychelles Med & Laser Spa’s mission is to provide the most advanced aesthetic and cosmetic procedures in a comfortable and relaxing setting. Seychelles uses the most advanced treatment techniques and equipment to maximize results and to ensure the safety of their clients. To learn more, visit SeychellesMedSpa.com

How I Survived Triple Negative Breast Cancer

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Written by Chiara D’Agostino, Breast Cancer Survivor and author of the Cancer Fashion Blog www.beautythroughthebeast.com 

I found the lump on my birthday, October 25th, 2014. It wasn’t a happy 43rd. August 2014 I had my routine mammogram and a week later the letter from the hospital arrived; everything was “normal.” Apparently, I have dense tissue in my breasts so the mammogram didn’t detect the lump. (Ladies, if you have dense tissue in your breasts – ask your radiologist – don’t stop at just a mammogram!) As soon as I felt it, I knew the mass didn’t belong in my body; fear enveloped me.

A mammogram, an ultrasound, an MRI, a chest and abdomen CT scan, a bone scan and a few biopsies later, I received the diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, stage three. Triple negative means my cancer is not fueled by any hormones: estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2); it is fast growing and has a higher percentage of reoccurring in other parts of my body.

The thread throughout my cancer diagnosis was fear. It gripped me tightly in its hands and whirled me around until I was dizzy and exhausted. I felt alone in my terror; friends and family would try and ease the pain by saying “There’s a cure!” “Breast cancer is the best kind of cancer to have!” and “You’ll be fine, my sister/cousin/hairdresser had it and she survived!” I politely nodded my head, thinking to myself, “You’re not God, you don’t know if I will be that small percentage of women that die from breast cancer – it happens!” I was being realistic. I wanted my fear to be acknowledged; I longed to be heard, and held, not patronized.

The steps I took that got me through my cancer diagnosis and treatment:

  • I clearly asked for what I wanted, whether it was lentil soup, a foot massage, silently being held on the couch or phone calls from friends; I didn’t assume people knew what I wanted.
  • I was my own health advocate, making the necessary phone calls to my insurance and doctors: I scheduled many appointments, second and sometimes third opinions.
  • I accepted offers from friends, family and acquaintances for accompaniment to appointments; if no one offered, I asked. Even if it was a simple test I could clearly go to by myself, I needed their company to distract me from my catastrophic thinking.
  • I got a copy of every medical report, scan, test, x-ray, etc. that was done to me. I made sure I understood what was happening, asking my doctor questions along the way.
  • I kept a diary of all of my appointments; what was done, where, and who was the ordering doctor.
  • During chemo, I relied heavily on the nurses – they provide all the caring and a wealth of knowledge and tips.
  • I threw cancer parties: a “Fuck Cancer” party after I received my diagnosis, and a “Boob-bye” party the night before my mastectomy. I’m the kind of person that needs support from my friends, so I made it happen.
  • I wore my natural looking wig when I wanted, and replaced it with hats towards the end; the wig was annoying. I did have fun at one point and bought an array of different colored wigs: I felt like a rock star when I wore them and got many compliments.
  • I posted on Facebook (that’s my way of communicating to many people, but there’s also www.caringbridge.org) that I encouraged phone calls and visits, and then I received them – that made me happy.
  • I made sure to get out every day, whether to run an errand, have a meal with a friend or see a movie with one, getting out and hearing people talk about their lives was refreshing.
  • I watched a lot of television, which is unnatural for me. It took my mind off of myself, and during chemo, it helped me to relax; I stuck to comedy and romance.
  • I watched Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer It scared me, but it also made me feel like I am not alone.
  • I spoke to other survivors I knew and met up with them for coffee. When I felt overwhelmed, I took a break.
  • I made my cancer accessible: I answered people’s questions about my health and diagnosis then I’d change the subject.
  • I bought several breast cancer books and flipped through them, with a friend, when I had a specific question; reading them alone was too scary.
  • I joined Facebook groups for triple negative breast cancer and the likes, and when I got overwhelmed or scared, I stopped reading the posts.
  • I limited googling information about my type of cancer.
  • I brought the same friend with me to each important appointment; she took notes and learned the breast cancer vocabulary alongside me. I turned to her during my decision-making process.
  • I called a cancer support hotline in New York City, SHARE, and spoke at length to a survivor on the phone. I was relieved – I finally felt heard, understood and supported! I keep in close contact with SHARE and still go to their cancer support groups.
    • Cancer support groups are monumental in my recovery: I learn a lot from the facilitators and the survivors, and I can speak my mind in a safe environment, where I am unconditionally loved and understood.
    • I was afraid to attend support groups for fear of hearing horror stories. When I was ready, I gave it a try. I listened to each woman and learned, reminding myself that every woman is different and her story will not necessarily be mine.
    • I attended breast cancer support groups in various different locations, and only returned to those that have a well-trained facilitator; some are too big or disorganized.
  • I found a local, reputable hospital that offers free classes to cancer patients and attended their weekly Mindful Meditation class, Stress Management class, Art Therapy class and Chi Gong class. I could relate to the people and I benefitted from learning techniques to relax my body and mind.
  • I attended weekly therapy sessions with my therapist, sometimes more than once a week.
  • I spoke to the oncology social worker at my hospital as often as needed.
  • I saw a psychiatrist and got on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills; at first I felt ashamed, but once the pills took effect, I was relieved.
  • I cried when I felt like it – for me, it came out all at once when I arrived home from the hospital, post-mastectomy: a breakdown.
  • I visited a holistic healer weekly, the energy healing was nurturing. I yearned for healing hands on my body, not those that poked or prodded me.
  • I got massages or facials regularly. At the time, someone was helping me financially, but massage and Reiki can be found free for cancer patients at your hospital.
  • I rested when I was tired, sleeping as much as needed, guilt-free.
  • I accepted help and asked for it when wanted (not just needed.)
  • I aimed to walk an hour a day; it felt therapeutic to breathe fresh air and circulate the blood in my body.
  • I drank a lot of Fiji water.
  • I ate healthy- lots of protein, greens and fruit, limited sugar and dairy intake.
  • I posted on Facebook that I wanted soup, and got containers of delicious homemade soups delivered to my door for weeks!
  • I learned which family, friends and acquaintances are there for me and which aren’t. I was shocked in both good and bad ways, accepting the results.
  • I did a lot of journaling.
  • I created a cancer fashion blog, beautythroughthebeast.com and blog regularly.
  • I’m now giving back and reaching out to women who are being diagnosed.
  • I surround my self with positive affirmations.
  • I rid myself of toxic people and environments.
  • When I want to do something and hear a doubting voice in my head, I take action anyway! Today, I go for it. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so I make the most of today.


Share Your #iGoPinkHealth Tips!

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Share your tips with us on how you make healthy choices and take steps to prevent, battle, and survive cancer!

STEP 1: SUBMIT a photo and add a description below
OR use the #iGoPinkHealth hashtag and tag us when posting a photo on Instagram or Twitter.
STEP 2: SHARE your entry with your friends and ask them to VOTE for you daily!
STEP 3: Every TUESDAY we will announce the winner who will win an iGoPink prize on our Facebook page!

A Great Pink Treat!

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Raspberry Frozen Yogurt


  • 2 cups vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed
  • Fresh raspberries (optional)


  • Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until sugar dissolves.
  • Place thawed raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain puree through a fine sieve over a bowl. Discard seeds. Add puree to yogurt mixture.
  • Pour raspberry mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.

Nicole Baker, Cooking Light


Think Pink Tip of the Week: Breast Cancer in Men

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When people think about the term “breast cancer” many times they associate it with women. Although women are ten times more likely to get breast cancer than men, there are still cases in which men contract breast cancer.  The most obvious difference in women and men is the size of the breast tissue. Men have less breast tissue and therefore it is much easier to diagnose a lump in a man’s breast. However, men are much less aware of the symptoms of breast cancer and are therefore less likely to seek help. Also, because men do not have much breast tissue, the cancer does not have to grow very far to reach the skin covering the breast or the muscles underneath. This allows the cancer to often times spread beyond the breast. Because mammograms are part of a woman’s wellness exam, women are often checked for breast cancer more often. Men, on the other hand, are often embarrassed to ask for these tests because they are associated with feminity. Sometimes genetic testing can also check for breast cancer in men by finding out if they carry the BRCA mutation gene. If they have a family history of cancer, this can be helpful in finding out if the cancer gene is present. Nevertheless, these tests can be expensive and should not be performed if there is no reason for suspicion. The most important thing to remember is that if you are a man or you know a man who is afraid to go see a doctor after finding a lump, please seek medical help. You will find out that there are more men out there with the same problem. There is no reason to be ashamed of the diagnosis. It is much more important that you stay alive!

Think Pink Tip of the Week: Advice for women regarding breast cancer

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After shepherding her mother through breast-cancer diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Tracy Halme has this advice for women:

— Women at high risk for breast cancer (due to factors such as family history and genetic predisposition) should be screened annually with mammography and MRI imaging, which is more expensive but also a more sensitive test. If you have a mother or sister who had breast cancer, you should begin screening 10 years before their age of diagnosis.

— The risk of breast cancer increases with age. Most cases are diagnosed in women over 50, causing some experts to say that if a woman has no other risk factors, annual mammograms aren’t needed until that age. Halme and other experts, including the American Cancer Society, however, strongly recommend annual mammograms for all women beginning at age 40.

— If you’ve lost your job or health benefits, check with your screening center to see if they can provide a free or low-cost mammogram. “We’ve seen this a lot in the last year. There are sometimes county funds or grants available to cover the cost. It’s worth a call,” Halme says.

— Don’t assume you’re going to lose your hair. Halme says, “As long as the tumor isn’t aggressive, most postmenopausal women like my mother won’t need chemotherapy or radiation.”
By: St. Petersburg Times
Provided By: http://www.therepublic.com
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service http://www.scrippsnews.com)

Craft ideas: How to make a cotton Angel ornament

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ArchHost shares these directions for making an adorable angel out of cotton right off of the plant!

Materials Needed:

  • Cotton Off the Stalk                                                                                                    
  • Cotton Leaves
  • Cotton Buds
  • Large Bead for Head
  • Ribbon
  • Doll Hair
  • Fake Gold Ring Band
  • Hot Glue and Gun



  1. Cut the cotton off the stalk (I live in NC and we have it growing everywhere). 
  2. Around the top of it, find some leaves for the wings, and some of the buds for the arms. You have to be creative here, and just play around with it. I think all of mine turned out different with this part. 
  3. I used pearl balls for the head. I got these at Michael’s and they were on a stalk. There were about 24 on the stalk for 69 cents. Can you say cheap project? 
  4. I added different color ribbon under the head. Gold and silver are very pretty. 
  5. I added curly doll hair to the top with hot glue. And I added a gold halo (those cheap gold wedding rings in the wedding section at Michaels). 
  6. Finally, I added a hanger on the back the same color of ribbon as under the chin area.

Ideas to Go Pink for Halloween

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Halloween is just a few days away and what better way to celebrate it and Breast Cancer Month at the same time.

1) Throw a Pink Pumpkin Party.  Mix up some cosmos and invite over your closest friends. You can bake strawberry cupcakes and decorate them with ghost & pumpkins in pink frosting.  Serve your favorite finger foods & turn on some scary background music. Don’t forget the pink balloons and pumpkins decorated in pink. If the party is large enough, you can hold a raffle to raise money for BCCA and have a prize for the winner such as a bottle of wine wrapped in a pink ribbon or a Giftcard.

2.) Have a Pink Pumpkin carving Contest in your neighborhood and ask all the kids to participate.  Tell them to be creative and use their imagination. Bring glitter,feathers,jewels,hats, ect. You can ask everyone to chip on the cost of supplies and maybe raise some extra money to donate for the cause.

3) Wear a Pink Costume. Just because it is Halloween doesn’t mean you can’t wear pink. For example, you can go as a pink cowgirl, or wear your traditional costume with a pink wig. Be as creative as you can.

Think Pink Tip of the Week: Exercise, Diet May Benefit Patients Receiving Cancer Treatments

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By Steven Marsh • May 24th, 2010 • Category: Energy, Health News, Health Resources News

Patients who exercise daily and eat a proper diet while receiving treatments for breast and prostate cancer may improve their overall health, according to a study that will be presented at this year’s annual meeting of American Society of Clinical Oncology.

A team of researchers enrolled a total of 50 participants into the trial, which included 30 female breast cancer patients and 20 male patients who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The participants were aged 35 to 80 years, and were either currently receiving cancer treatment or treatment-free for one year.

Following health screenings at the start of the study, each patient was recommended a specific exercise and diet plan that was based on their weight, overall health as well as what time of cancer treatment they were receiving.

The results of the trial showed that patients who were receiving treatment and following appropriate diet and exercise habits were less fatigued and didn’t experience as many side effects caused by the cancer treatments.

Eleanor M. Walker, division director of breast services at Henry Ford Hospital, stated that “using exercise as an approach to cancer care has the potential to benefit patients both physically and psychologically, as well as mitigate treatment side effects.”

In 2009, more than 560,000 patients in the U.S. died from cancer, the American Cancer Association reports.


Think Pink Tip of the Week: Walnuts In Your Diet Help With Breast Cancer Prevention.

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Walnuts aren’t just a good snack – they should become part of your anti-cancer diet. Researchers now think that having two ounces of walnuts every day may reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. But walnuts have even more health benefits to tempt you.

Walnuts Pack a Nutritional Wallop
Dr. Elaine Hardman, at the Marshall University School of Medicine has studied walnuts for 15 years. Dr. Hardman says that walnuts contain at least three nutrients that account for their anti-cancer activity. Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols appear to be the most important components of the walnut’s anti-cancer arsenal. Walnuts also contain other healthy nutrients such as natural melatonin, dietary fiber, and plant protein.
Omega-3s and Breast Cancer
While doing a lab study on mice with breast tumors, Dr. Hardman found that when the mice ate walnuts as part of their daily diet, the mice were less likely to develop breast tumors, and those that did had smaller, slower-growing tumors. Even though omega-3 fatty acids are known to have great effects on tumor growth, she thinks that omega-3s can’t be isolated from walnuts, and have the same powerful effect. “It’s probably different components working together to provide the benefit,” said Dr. Hardman.
Roasted, Toasted, or Raw?
While we often eat walnuts that are roasted, Dr. Hardman worked with raw walnuts. So what about those walnuts that you put in your brownies? Does cooking walnuts decrease their health benefits? Dr. Hardman speculated, “My best guess is that light toasting is okay, this would not be long enough to break down the fat and change the benefit compared to what I did. As for longer cooking, I just don’t know – it is possible that some of the components would be even more effective after cooking (for example, the lycopene in tomato is more active after cooking than in a raw tomato) or they could be degraded, or no difference. That is another study.”
Don’t Deconstruct Your Walnuts
So although walnut oil might be good for you when added to salad dressing or baked goods, the oil alone would not be sufficient to prevent or fight breast cancer. During the research study, the walnut oil by itself was not tested. However, Dr Hardman says that, “The oil would contain the omega-3 fat and lipid soluble components but would be missing other components that would be retained in the pulp.” She doesn’t recommend taking nutritional supplements instead of eating the natural foods. “When we start trying to take the foods apart, we rarely see the kind of [cancer-preventative] effect we get from a whole food.”

Fats, Inflammation, and Cancer
Not all dietary fats are the same – some are even good for you. The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, fish, soy, and flaxseed can reduce your LDL cholesterol levels, lower your blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. Research about inflammation and cancer incidence is ongoing, but it appears that inflammation can influence the development of cancer. Preventing or reducing inflammation may suppress cancer growth. Omega-6 fatty acids can increase inflammation and cell proliferation, if consumed habitually in excessive amounts. Omega-6s occur in vegetable oils, meats and eggs – all too common in Western diets. Both types of fatty acids are essential for good health, but should be kept in balance.

Walnuts Are Part of Your Anticancer Action Plan
“Epidemiology data indicates that a healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and fish and containing little red meat or added fat would help lower the risk for many types of cancer including breast cancer,” Dr. Hardman reminds us. How much of an impact does a healthy diet have? “30 to 70 percent of cancers are probably preventable with lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Hardman, although experts vary in their opinions. To get the best anticancer action plan going for your life, eat a healthy diet, avoid tobacco and alcohol, do regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, don’t skip your annual mammogram, and remember to do your monthly breast self-exam.

Breast Cancer Prevention May Be In a Nutshell, Says Dr. Elaine Hardman
By Pam Stephan, About.com Guide

Provided by: http://breastcancer.about.com