Beauty and the Breast Issues – Looking Good Post-Cancer

Do you have breast issues? Has breast cancer nodded its ugly head toward you? As a two-time survivor, I’ll share some of my musings on beauty and the breast.

Weight gain

Breast cancer patients often gain weight from treatment. This fact escaped me when I first underwent treatment with chemotherapy. One reason is chemo-induced fatigue, resulting in decreased activity. Another is steroids contained in pre-chemo medications. 
 
To combat these effects, patients should eat a balanced diet of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthful fats in moderate amounts. In addition, cancer survivors should invest in exercise if at all possible. Once chemo was through, I hit the gym. One study reveals that 150 minutes of aerobic exercise five times a week lowered a patient’s risk of dying from breast cancer. Any amount of exercise beats sitting around.
 
Hair

After the second round of chemotherapy, my hair seriously started to shed. I chose to shave my head so my hair wouldn’t fall out in clumps. Then I headed to the local American Cancer Society (ACS) office, which provided a plethora of nice-looking complimentary wigs from which I could choose. They also supplied me with wig shampoo and styling advice. What a blessing to have these services available!
 
I asked my oncology nurses about taking a drug to grow my hair back more quickly. They weren’t enthusiastic about any medical remedies. Since I had wigs and didn’t desire to apply another topical treatment besides hair coloring, I scrapped the notion of a follicle-sprouting lotion.
 
Eventually my hair did grow back. After yearly treatment with Herceptin, however, it did not return as thick as before. Further, the daily pill Arimidex I take to reduce chances of recurrence causes hair thinning. To counter this, my hairdresser advised using Nioxin hair-thinning system, consisting of shampoo, conditioner, and treatment spray. After three months of use we noticed new hair sprouting. Mousses, volumizers, and thickening gels with wheat protein may also create the illusion of thicker manes. 
 
Skin Products

Cancer treatment can cause skin to dry out. Our local dermatologist gives monthly free skin-care advice to patients undergoing chemo or radiation. At his sessions he not only talked about how and why cancer treatments affect the skin, hair, and nails, but also showed us how to use cosmetic products correctly. We learned that creams are better than lotions in moisturizing the skin. Best of all, he handed out free samples of skin products in generous quantities.  
 
Fingernails

Another beauty symbol rife with breast issues involves fingernails. Chemo caused permanent ridges to form on mine, and Herceptin gave them the consistency of tissue paper until the drug left my system. ”Sally Hansen Hard as Nails” nail polish helped to strengthen them. At my dermatologist’s urging I also took biotin supplements to counteract nail brittleness as Herceptin coursed through my veins. I continue on biotin, as I believe it makes a difference. Before taking any supplements, however, patients should consult their oncologist.
 
Makeup

The program “Look Good … Feel Better” offered by the ACS is well worth the time invested. This free service is dedicated to educating cancer survivors about beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during treatments.  Cosmetologists taught us the best way to apply makeup. We also received hundreds of dollars of free cosmetics as a favor bag from this “party.” My take-away message?  Blush and lipstick work color magic on faces pale from chemo.  And they take so little time to apply!
 
Reconstruction or Prosthesis

One of the largest breast issues is the decision whether to have reconstruction. For personal and medical reasons I opted against this procedure after my double mastectomy. To many women who undergo disfiguring surgery, however, reconstruction is an image-saver. 
 
I discovered that my local ACS office offers a large assortment of free prostheses and mastectomy bras.  Governments may require insurance companies to cover purchases of this sort; the patient seeking faux breasts should investigate all possibilities so she can look and feel her best in public.   

Jewelry

Since my cancer journey I have discovered jewelry of every style, color and shape.   Each piece helps brighten my day.  I found my post-chemo short hair looks cool with dangly earrings. But rings provide a challenge for me, a lymphedema patient. I have solved the dilemma by wearing my wedding band on my unaffected hand and buying rings with elastic bands so I can still dress up fingers on my swollen hand. We survivors are ever resourceful as we face each new trial.  
 
I pray that these musings on breast issues will help you sort through truths you can use when dealing with the modern-day obsession with beauty. Like objects in a side-view mirror, beauty is closer than you think.

Understanding the Role of Fenugreek in Breast Success Supplements

Breast Success natural breast enhancement supplement pills contain a blend of potent herbal ingredients listed on the FDA GRAS list of safe foods. Of all 13 active ingredients, fenugreek (of the genus species Trigonella foenum-graecum) is the one with the highest dosage per capsule.

In this article, we will briefly discuss the benefits of this herb relating to breast enhancement along with other medicinal benefits.

Also known as Greek Hay See and Bird’s Foot, this is a plant that originally thrives in the Mediterranean region. Today fenugreek grows in other parts of the world including India, northern Africa, and the United States. The seeds of Trigonella foenum-graecum contain the most potent medicinal effects of the plant and it is from these seeds that the Fenugreek extract found in Breast Success are made from.

For centuries, it was rumoured that that the harem women in Middle East become more busty by eating fenugreek seed. While initially dismissed as hearsay, the benefits of these seeds became more evident later on. When investigated further, it was found that in addition to female steroid precursors, there were compounds in these seeds that increase healthy breast tissue.

The breast enhancing effects of fenugreek compounds such as diosgenin and other plant phyto-estrogens is just starting to be recognized by modern medicine.

Numerous books about breast health and the prevention of breast cancer have featured the role of phyto-nutrients in this herb in increasing the size and health of the breasts.

The key to success appears to be a consistent intake of sufficient dosage of the seed extracts. If intake is disrupted, some minor reduction in fullness of the breasts may be observed although the primary results should remain.

Other than breast enhancement, fenugreek is also an alternative treatment for low breast milk for nursing mothers as well as those who are pumping for their non-nursing infants. This plant helps to increase milk supply by stimulating sweat production that is required for breast milk.

Being a highly nutritious herb that is a rich source of protein, vitamin C, niacin and potassium, Trigonella foenum-graecum has been used over centuries for treatment of menopause symptoms, constipation relief, diabetes control, cholesterol reduction and diarrhea relief.

Based on the above, it is clear that fenugreek offers breast health along with other health benefits. Since Breast Success supplements contain a healthy dosage of fenugreek or Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extracts, you can expect fuller and firmer breasts without the risk of surgery by taking these supplements regularly.

Diagnosed With Breast Cancer? Here Are Some Resources To Help!

There are more and more organisations and groups around the world who will offer support and advice to not just women but men as well who have been affected by breast cancer.

Many of these groups and organisations not only spend time counselling people but they hold many fund raising events and campaigns to help pay for further research into the disease.

In some cases some of these groups or organisations will offer treatment to those patients diagnosed with the disease who can not actually afford to pay for the treatment themselves.

Below is a list of the various organisations and groups that can be found in the USA which have been specifically set up to fight this disease and provide support to those who have been diagnosed with it.

One such group in the USA is the American Cancer Society (ACS) who are a community based health organisation and which helps to fight all the various types of cancers that now seem to affect the population.

They also spend vast amounts of their time not just focusing on treatment of cancer but also its prevention and how to reduce the suffering felt by the patients and their families and saving lives.

They also help with costs for carrying out further research and educating people on the disease and making the population more aware of its effects.

Another organisation is Cancer Care Incorporated who provide a telephone support service for all cancer issues, and this includes medical information, cancer terms and definitions, counselling, guidance on local services, free information material, as well as information on local support groups to the patients area as well as an abundance of educational programs on cancer matters.

Now we come to CRFA (Cancer Research Foundations of America) which is a national group and which focuses on the prevention of cancer both through educating people and scientific research.

It is also able to provide people with information on other forms of cancer as well as breast such as prostate, lung, colorectal, skin and cervical.

Then you could if you wish contact The Living Beyond Breast Cancer Foundation which has been set up and provides a helpline where you are able to obtain support after being diagnosed with the disease.

You will discover that the people at the other end of the phone talking to you will have previously been diagnosed with the disease and survived.

They are able to provide you with first hand information on the treatments offered, the way in which it is diagnosed and how to survive it.

But don’t forget the people at the other end of the phone can only offer you emotional support and not actual medical advice, for that you will need to see your doctor who will then refer you to a specialist.

Then there is the Medicare Hotline which is another breast cancer foundation and this one can offer the patient information on mammography and the way it is used in helping to detect breast cancer during the early stages.

Also we have the NABCO (National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organisations) who can provide people with answers to the many questions that they will have relating to the disease and they can either call them or send them an email to obtain the information they require on breast cancer and the many issues relating to it.

If you would like to obtain a more individual response regarding a question you have in respect of the disease it may be a case of you contacting the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service, which can provide patients with answers to any specific question they may have relating to the disease.

Also a number of years ago a Foundation was set up called the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation which helps to fight breast cancer and are well known for organising lots of awareness programs as being a huge contributor in raising funds through various campaigns they have organised such as breast cancer walks.

This foundation also has a helpline where they have trained volunteers who can talk to individuals regarding the disease as they have suffered from it themselves.

The Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been set up and is specifically committed to offering people with the latest information that is available concerning breast cancer and breast health to those that contact them.

Lastly we have the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organisation which helps fight against both breast cancer and provides support to those suffering from the disease by providing them with a helpline that is operated by trained personnel only.

These people are volunteers but who have all survived breast cancer and are not only prepared but have the experience to answer the various types of questions that will be posed by the caller regarding breast cancer.

They can also provide emotional support to the men and women who have been affected by this disease.