Monday, June 27, 2016

Underarm Care for Cancer Patients - Read Ingredient Labels

This blog post is an abbreviated version of the post: 
Nurture Your Armpits – Especially When You Are Undergoing Cancer Treatment
which appeared on the Breast Cancer Yoga Blog in March 2016

What you put on your body matters – especially when you are undergoing cancer treatment. Oncology patients often have unique needs when it comes to personal care products for the skin, hair and body. Many people don’t read the labels on personal care products, and even if they do, they are hard to decipher because many items on the ingredient list have unrecognizable chemical names. While general skin care is an important topic, this article focuses specifically on underarm care.

Unhealthy Ingredients in Mass Market Deodorants
What you put on your skin matters. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It absorbs the materials that you put on it, they circulate inside your body, and can reach internal organs. For more information refer to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and WebMD. The following disturbing chemicals are frequently found in mass market deodorants and being aware of the contents may influence your decision about the deodorant you use and encourage you to read ingredient labels:
  • Aluminum 
  • Phtalates 
  • Propylene glycol 
  • Formaldehyde
  • Parabens
According to a 2012 Huffington Post article: “What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our body; both affect the well-being of our entire body (skin included!). The next time you slather on that chemical laden lotion or soak in a toxic tub, remember that your skin absorbs a large percentage of what you put on it.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering mentions underarm care in their Patient and Caregiver information: "Radiation Therapy to the Breast or Chest Wall" as follows:
"You can use nonaluminum-based deodorant on intact skin in the area being treated. Stop using it if your skin becomes irritated."

PiperWai: A Healthy Solution to Underarm Care

PiperWai became a popular brand soon after the founders appeared on Shark Tank in late 2015. PiperWai all natural deodorant is the first creme deodorant that contains super-absorbent activated charcoal to keep you dry. PiperWai rubs in clear and won’t discolor your clothes. PiperWai is applied with your fingers – this deodorant’s skin-conditioning qualities also make it great for your hands. Of utmost importance for cancer patients - PiperWai is made with only healthy ingredients. No Parabens, No harsh ingredients. And, especially important for individuals undergoing radiation therapy to the breast or other areas of the body: NO ALUMINUM

PiperWai Is Gentle On Sensitive Skin

Crafted with skin-conditioning ingredients like organic coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and pure vitamin E oil, PiperWai is great for people with sensitive skin. It’s perfect for individuals with chemical sensitivities, or skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. PiperWai contains a proprietary blend of 11 therapeutic-grade essential oils gives PiperWai its signature gender-neutral fresh scent. And, in addition to smelling great, these essential oils are believed to have specific anti-microbial properties that work with the other ingredients to keep you smelling fresh.  Try PiperWai today - your armpits and your body will thank you!

Alra Non-Metallic Deodorant

Alra Non-Metallic Deodorant was developed at the request of oncologists, as metallic ingredients can interfere with radiation therapy treatments and is another option for safe armpit care during cancer. It is made with Aloe Vera Gel, Oil of Cypress and Lichen Extract (a natural bactericide and fungicide)

Read Ingredient Labels On All Personal Care Products

Its not just deodorant that patients have to be careful about. Remember to read ingredient labels on all personal care products. Many skin-care products on the market contain ingredients that can be carcinogenic, estrogenic, or teratogenic, with the potential for long-term neurological disorders and conditions. The use of Endocrine-disrupting xenoestrogenic chemicals, such as parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), BHT, and BHA are commonly found in everyday personal care products such as cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, sunscreens, hand washing soaps, lining of canned foods, and flame retardant clothing such as children’s pajama’s, to name a few. Avoid the pretty outer packaging, and the possibly misleading catchy phrases in the advertising for most mass market personal care products. Instead Be Proactive: Read the labels, Learn the ingredients and Protect your health!

This blog post was written by: Margot Main, Founder and CEO of Lots To Live For, Inc.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Relief: Comfort Slings Help Relieve Abrasions and Dermatitis Beneath The Breast

by Margot Malin, CEO and Founder of Lots To Live For, Inc.

Patients who are undergoing radiation therapy on the underside of their breasts may develop radiation dermatitis, painful sores, and even weepy lesions in the skin folds beneath their breasts. The inflammation can be worsened by excessive perspiration and the chafing resulting from skin-to-skin contact. Once these side effects occur the patient experiences significant discomfort.

Relief: A new product called the ComfortSling(R) can help to improve comfort and prevent the continuing abrasion or fold over effect. The Breast Comfort Sling allows the breast to rest on a soft cushion giving freer air circulation while wicking away perspiration to keep the sore area dry. The straps are adjustable so there is no pressure on the neck or shoulder, or on the sore areas beneath the breast. The cushion provides a comfort barrier between the breast and the skin beneath it to prevent excessive chafing, and the antimicrobial material discourages bacteria growth.

The Slings are available in either a single sling, or a double sling.
The Single Sling: Women have found that wearing the Breast Comfort Single Sling from the onset of radiotherapy, even before any side effects have begun to appear, is the most effective way to minimize uncomfortable side effects to the skin. Wearing the sling as many hours as possible throughout the day, especially when sleeping, is most effective.
The Double SlingWomen with large breasts often suffer yeast infections, skin rashes, fungus and other irritations due to excessive perspiration and poor circulation under their breasts. The moisture irritates the skin and the area becomes further inflamed as the breast tends to rub against the skin beneath it. The ComfortSling® Double-Sling is an ideal solution.

The fabric for the Breast ComfortSlings and Pads was specially selected because it is very soft and has both wicking and antimicrobial qualities. The straps are soft enough to be comfortable yet firm enough to hold their shape when worn across the shoulders. The slings stay in place, yet they are loose enough to avoid pressure and constriction across the neck and under the breast.

Breast ComfortSlings and Pads were developed by Elizabeth Silver during her radiation oncology treatment and they proved so effective that her radiologist and oncologist were amazed at the excellent condition of her skin during her treatment. In fact, it was they who recommended that she begin to market the slings so that more women could benefit from the relief they provided.

Patients have found amazing relief from using the products, as described in these reviews: 

Life Saver!! 5 Star Review

Posted on May 12th 2016
My cousin was in her 20th treatment of radiation and we started noticing that the crease under her left breast was raw and peeling to the point of extreme pain. I was desperately searching for some type of treatment that would help and I did. This breast sling is the best . It allowed her breast to heel so much faster. If anyone is going to be starting radiation, please, please get this before starting treatment! It will help sooooo much! 

Posted on May 31, 2016
Using the breast comfort sling and the pads, combined with clotrimazole (an antifungal cream found in lortimin AF athletes foot cream), I have managed to heal a 1/2 dollar sized very painful and itchy irritation under my breast. It has been there for months and within 5 days of using the pads and cream it has greatly reduced and virtually healed.

This post is a condensed version of  Comfort Slings Help Relieve Soreness and Abrasion Beneath the Breasts published on the Breast Cancer Yoga Blog in December 2015.