October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month
If ever there was a post we wish didn’t have to be written, it’s this one. A world without Breast (and other forms of) Cancer would be a great world indeed. However it does exist, and October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and by the time we hit 40 (as readers of this post most likely are), it is highly likely we know someone who is currently, or has been, affected by Breast Cancer in Australia.
According to Cancer Australia, it is estimated that there will be 17,730 new cases of Breast Cancer being diagnosed in 2017, and it is increasing on a per 100,000 population basis. Breast Cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, representing 13% of all cancers diagnosed, and your risk increases with age. 44 women each day are diagnosed with Breast Cancer. The most common age group diagnosed, according to Breast Cancer Network Australia is between 50 and 69 years of age, however it can be diagnosed in women significantly older and younger, so it is important to be aware of the symptoms and have regular checks.
So, what is breast cancer? It is the abnormal growth of cells lining the breast lobules or ducts. The cells grow uncontrollably, and it can spread throughout your entire body. Both men and women can develop Breast cancer, although it is much (much) more common in women. It is estimated by Cancer Australia, that a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with Breast Cancer by the age of 85 is 1 in 8.
What are the symptoms of Breast Cancer? Some people have no symptoms at all, and the cancer is picked up during a mammogram, and others have a range of symptoms. Typical symptoms could include:
- New lumps or a thickening in your breast or under your arm
- Nipple Sores
- Nipple discharge or turning in
- Skin of your breast dimpling
- Rash or red swollen breasts
Every women’s story can be different. For Lisa Poulos, a Breast Cancer survivor (10 years this October), a check after feeling pain in her right breast came up negative. A persistent feeling that her body was telling her that something wasn’t right led to more mammograms and finally a diagnosis of Breast Cancer. For Lisa, early detection is the key, as the treatment is less aggressive and less harsh on your body than if the cancer is detected later on. It was also important for Lisa to have a strong network around her, to find a treatment plan and doctor she was comfortable with, and to make time for herself with yoga to still the noise in her mind that came with diagnosis and treatment. Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to Lisa a reminder to get an annual breast check, and is a time to bring women together and raise funds for vital research into this cancer.
There are some scary statistics above, but there is help at hand. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 are invited to access free screening mammograms every two years via the BreastScreen Australia Program. Women aged 40-49 and over 75 are also eligible to receive free mammograms, however do not receive an invitation to attend. If you fall into this age group, why not use Breast Cancer Awareness Month to make the appointment to have your breasts checked? It is recommended that women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, aged between 40-49 and over 75 discuss options with their doctor, or contact BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50.
We are not going to go into the diagnosis and treatment for Breast Cancer here – this is not supposed to be a scare mongering post, rather information on the cancer, and what you can do for your health and to get detected as early as possible. The good news is that the five year survival rate for women diagnosed with Breast Cancer continues to increase. Of course research into Breast Cancer costs money, so if you would like to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the leading Australian community funded organisation raising money for the prevention and cure of Breast Cancer, you can donate directly here. There are also many cosmetic companies producing limited edition products especially for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a significant donation is given for each product purchased. Some of the products raising funds during October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month, include:
Estee Lauder Limited Edition Advanced Night Repair
Estee Lauder’s famous “little brown bottle” has gone pink to raise funds for Breast Cancer research. Still with the same powerful Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II, which maximises your skin’s natural power for night time renewal, the limited edition packaging comes with a pink keychain (and a touch of blue for the <1% of men diagnosed with breast cancer). 50ml RRP $150.00. For every bottle sold of the limited edition Advanced Night Repair, Estee Lauder will donate 20% of the RRP price to the national Breast Cancer Foundation.
Bobbi Brown Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzing Set
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics is honoring the Estee Lauder Companies Breast cancer Campaign’s 25th anniversary (that’s right – they’ve been supporting this worthwhile cause for 25 years), with the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzing Set which includes a rosy pink shade of Illuminating Bronzing Powder, and a mini Face Blender Brush. he ultra flattering shade suits most skin tones. 8g RRP $80.00. For Every Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzing Set sold, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics will donate $16.00 to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
June Jacobs Rapid Repair Healing Cream
Beauty doyenne June Jacobs, herself a breast cancer survivor, created the Rapid Repair Healing Cream after a personal battle with radiation dermatitis. After 23 sessions over six weeks, June was experiencing acute dermatitis causing unbearable discomfort and pain. Available topical treatments did not help, so June set out and created this wonder product not only for herself, but for all women experiencing these symptoms as a result of cancer treatments. The cream acts as a skin barrier to prevent moisture loss, and can be used on your face and body to soothe irritation and provide up to 24 hours hydration. The ultra-soothing cream contains Edelweiss flower extract (known for anti-inflammatory properties), shea butter for softness, and allantoin and dimethicone to seal in moisture. The versatile cream not only works on post-radiation or post laser skin, it reduces itching associated with eczema, soothes sunburned skin, and works wonders as a mask when flying. 112g RRP $92.00, 47ml RRP $46.00. June Jacobs donates 25% of the total net proceeds from the sale of Rapid Repair Healing Cream each October to the Anne Moore Breast Cancer research Fund, and 25% of the net proceeds of Rapid Repair Healing Cream product purchases through www.junejacobs.com to the Dubin Breast Centre. Another tip from June if you find yourself undergoing cancer treatment – ask questions, get tested regularly – never miss your yearly screening, and have a great support network around you.
ghd Pink Blush Collection
Super Styling brand ghd has had a long association with global Breast Cancer charities, and in 2017 they are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness month with 3 products in their Blush Collection. Featuring a limited edition pink blush ghd platinum styler and heat resistant roll bag With GHD’s patented tri-zone technology, the platinum styler uses safe-for hair technology that allows you to style your hair in one stroke. RRP $325.00, with $20.00 from each unit sold being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The limited edition ghd pink blush V Styler and heat resistant roll bag features advanced ceramic heat technology and smooth contoured plates to effortlessly glide through hair and make straightening and curling a breeze. RRP $280.00, with $20.00 from each unit sold being donated to the national Breast cancer Foundation. The limited edition pink blush ghd air hairdryer delivers a blow dry with reduced frizz and a professional finish in half the time. Salon finish at home – yes please. RRP $200.00, with $10.00 from each unit sold being donated to the national Breast cancer Foundation. The limited edition pink blush ghd paddle brush is perfect for detangling long hair without creating static.Straight sleek blow drys are a breeze. RRP $34.00, with $2.00 from each unit sold being donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+
The Limited Edition Bottle of Clinique’s most famous moisturiser, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+, features a keyring with 4 charms, including a Breast Cancer awareness pink ribbon. The moisturizer combines all day hydration with skin strengthening ingredients to help skin look younger longer. 200ml RRP $70.00. For each bottle of Limited Edition Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ sold, Clinique will donate $10.00 from the RRP to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme
The Aveda Hand relief Moisturizing Creme, features an invigorating Rosemary Mint scent and organic rosemary and peppermint. The intensely hydrating formula seriously soothes dry hands, leaving them noticeably softer and smoother, whilst plant hydrator ingredients protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier, helping to protect moisture through up to 3 hand washes. 150ml RRP $49.95. For every purchase of the Limited Edition Aveda Hand relief Moisturizing Creme, Aveda will donate US$4.00 to support cruelty-free research through the National Breast Cancer Foundation.