Posts Tagged ‘ breast cancer ’

Remember These Patients During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Every October people are swept up in a sea of pink and inundated with mammogram reminders as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month efforts. And for good reason: More than 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are diagnosed in women every year, and more than 39,000 women die of breast cancer every year, according to U.S. data from the American Cancer Society. But all of the talk leaves many people with later stages of breast cancer out of the conversation. When the focus is on taking preventative measures, those who have long since been diagnosed with breast cancer need their own outlet from which to gain strength and receive support.

Fortunately, there are options for breast cancer patients who no longer benefit from early detection and prevention campaigns. The pharmaceutical company Novartis is one organization working to fill this void in the cancer awareness sphere with its Count Us, Know Us, Join Us support network. As stated on its site, the initiative recognizes that “this is a community that has different physical and emotional needs from those in earlier stages of breast cancer.” Novartis has partnered with a number of advocacy groups to give those living with breast cancer and their loved ones a voice.

With Count Us, Know Us, Join Us, patients with advanced breast cancer can find information on treatment, support, and how to get involved with a thriving community of people living with advanced breast cancer. And as a symbolic gesture, patients can add their name to the virtual list of members and show that they are indeed being counted.

Breast cancer is a complex experience that affects each patient in a vastly different way. Just as there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment, there’s no uniform way of connecting with survivors. Count Us, Know Us, Join Us is a reminder of how we each need personal support that is loving and meaningful to us.

Image via Shutterstock 

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Rosie to the Rescue: Tighten Your Postbaby Belly and Raise Money for Breast Cancer

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Becoming a parent was the very first time I thought about my own mortality with any sort of meaning.  Having children made me want to live until I was incredibly old. It was also about this time that my husband and I lost two friends to cancer. I realized that even the healthiest of us can be struck down by cancers that seem inexplicable.  The powerlessness that comes with the fear of life-threatening disease can be overwhelming, especially when we stare into the eyes of our children and see all the things from kindergarten to college graduation and beyond that we want to be there for, by their side.

Over recent years I’ve wished that I could do something that would in some way help the many amazing organizations that help push for advancements in research, so that we get closer to finding the cures for the diseases that take our loved ones too soon.  This is why I am very proud to share with you my partnership with Belly Bandit.  In case you don’t know what this marvelous piece of equipment is for, it’s an ingenious way to tuck, tighten, and sculpt that post-partum belly.  Fear not: This is no medieval-corset torture device, but instead a carefully structured band that wraps around your tummy and helps you to engage those oh-so-important muscles that we need to bring our possibly loose and flabby midsections (I know mine was!) back to what we had prebaby, or dreamed of in past years!

The amazing team at Belly Bandit is, like myself, passionate about helping women look good and feel good.  This year we decided to go a little further and create an Organic Pink Belly Bandit that helps to support the Shades of Pink Foundation, while being green at the same time.  The organization’s mission:

“Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have extra financial burdens placed on them during treatment and recovery. Common issues are insurance payments, food, transportation, childcare, and other essentials of daily life. Shades of Pink Foundation offers temporary financial assistance during their time in need.”

 

For both the Belly Bandit team and me, this is a very personal project.  They would like to dedicate it to their beloved friend Suzanne Herman who lost her battle with breast cancer, and I would like to dedicate it to those still fighting.

 

So whether it’s our pink Belly Bandit or a charity walk, or a mammogram that you take part in, join us in taking a little control in the fight against breast cancer, and raise awareness for yourself, your family and your friends.

To purchase the Rosie Pope Pink Organic Belly Bandit:

http://www.bellybandit.com/store/p-115-organic-band.aspx

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5 Celebrity Moms Who’ve Had Mastectomies

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

celeb moms who had mastectomies

This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.

Mother-of-six Angelina Jolie shocked fans with the news of her recent preventative double mastectomy. After testing positive for a faulty BRCA1 gene, the Academy Award-winning actress put the spotlight on the sensitive procedure that many other women have elected to have.

Angelina is not the first famous woman to open up about this surgery. Let’s take a look at five celebrity moms who have undergone the procedure.

Angelina Jolie:

After losing her mom to ovarian cancer and then learning that she has the BRCA1 gene mutation, Angelina Jolie, 37, opted to have a preventive double mastectomy. She also plans to have her ovaries removed.

In May 2013, the Salt star went public about the procedure in an op-ed piece, writing that she felt “empowered” by her decision. “Life comes with many challenges,” she wrote. “The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”

Christina Applegate:

At age 36, Christina Applegate was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2008. At first, she opted to have a lumpectomy. But after learning she was a carrier of the BRCA1 gene mutation, she chose to have both breasts removed in a bilateral mastectomy, followed by reconstructive surgery a few months later.

“It came on really fast. It was one of those things that I woke up and it felt so right,” she told Oprah Winfrey. “It just seemed like, ‘I don’t want to have to deal with this again. I don’t want to keep putting that stuff in my body. I just want to be done with this.’ And I was just going to let them go.”

She added: “It can be very painful. It’s also a part of you that’s gone, so you go through a grieving process.”

Giuliana Rancic:

At age 37, Giuliana Rancic was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. The E! News personality has spoken openly about her decision to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction.

“At the end, to be honest, all it came down to was just choosing to live, and not looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life,” Giuliana told TODAY.

“In helping other women, you end up helping yourself,” she said. “You end up being able to validate one of the most painful times in your life by realizing that maybe all the pain and the fear and the tears were worth it.”

Wanda Sykes:

The decision to undergo a bilateral mastectomy was an easy one for Wanda Sykes. After being diagnosed with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), the comedienne wanted to give herself “the best odds” of beating the noninvasive breast cancer and sticking around for her partner Alex, and their 2-year-old twins Olivia and Lucas for many years to come.

“I made my decision because I love life,” Wanda, 47, said of her double mastectomy.

“My first thought was, ‘Really? Me, breast cancer?’” Wanda recalls of the day doctors discovered the cancer after her breast reduction surgery. “I just couldn’t believe it. But I knew this was doable.”

Sharon Osbourne:

In November 2012, The Talk host Sharon Osbourne revealed she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery at age 60 after learning she was at increased risk for breast cancer.

“As soon as I found out I had the breast cancer gene, I thought, ‘The odds are not in my favor,’” Sharon told Hello! “I’ve had cancer before, and I didn’t want to live under that cloud. I decided to just take everything off, and had a double mastectomy.”

She added: “For me, it wasn’t a big decision, it was a no-brainer. I didn’t want to live the rest of my life with that shadow hanging over me. I want to be around for a long time and be a grandmother.”

More Celebrity Parenting News:

10 Female Celebrity Breadwinners

Garcelle Beauvais: “I’m Happiest When We’re All Together”

Gabrielle Reece: “My Quote Was Taken Out Of Context”

Amy Grant: “I Don’t Know If I Do Balance It All”

Celebrity Baby Scoop is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.

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Why Angelina Jolie Is a Breast Cancer Previvor and a Hero

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Angelia JolieEditor’s Note: This guest post was written by Dina Roth Port, mom of two children and frequent contributor to Parents. She is also the author of Previvors: Facing the Breast Cancer Gene and Making Life-Changing Decisions.

You might not like some of her movies. You might think she’s a little out there (at least during those Billy Bob Thornton years.) You might be a little peeved that she can take care of six kids and still look poised and breathtakingly beautiful all the time.

Whether you like her or not, one thing is for sure: Angelina Jolie is a hero. She’s using her celebrity for good by telling women with a genetic predisposition for breast cancer that they are not alone. Some may fear dealing with tough decisions alone, not realizing there are thousands upon thousands of other women who completely understand what they’re going through.

In today’s issue of The New York Times, Jolie publicly shared her very personal decision to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. As she says in her op-ed piece, “I choose not to keep my story private because there are many women who do not know that they might be living under the shadow of cancer. It is my hope that they, too, will be able to get gene tested, and that if they have a high risk they, too, will know that they have strong options.”

Jolie’s letting women around the world know that they no longer have to live in fear of breast cancer. They have options. They can determine cancer risk by testing for a BRCA mutation and taking charge of their health in ways that previous generations never could. Jolie knows this all too well. When she tested positive for a BRCA1 gene, she knew she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 44% chance of developing ovarian cancer. She knew she was a previvor — someone who has not had cancer but who has a high risk for developing it. Since her mom died of ovarian cancer just six years ago, Jolie knew that it was a major red flag that there might be a BRCA mutation in the family. After finding out that she did inherit the mutation, she decided to do something about it.

Of course, there are naysayers: “I can’t relate to Angelina Jolie. She’s a celebrity with endless resources. Her life is nothing like mine.” But getting a double mastectomy is a very difficult, personal decision for any woman, as I learned interviewing the five women featured in my book, Previvors: Facing the Breast Cancer Gene and Making Life-Changing Decisions, all of whom had to make choices — some had surgery, some did not — just like Jolie. Sure, she may be a famous, multimillionaire engaged to Brad Pitt, but Jolie’s still a woman taking steps that can potentially save her life. And, as a mother, Jolie decided she would do what she needed to do to protect her children (just like any mother would). She is showing women that, after surgery, it is still possible to look and feel feminine and whole. She is also showing women that it’s possible to make tough decisions and still have the support of a loving partner.

I thank Jolie for sharing her story and for encouraging women to learn about the ways they can protect themselves. She is incredibly brave for doing so, particularly since her journey is not over. Thank you, Angelina Jolie, for putting such a public face to the word “previvor.”

More about breast cancer on Parents.com

 

Image: Angelina Jolie in Berlin via Shutterstock.

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10 Celebrities Who Used Surrogates to Conceive

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.

CelebrityBabyScoop is taking a look at 10 celebrities who have used a surrogate mother to expand their families. From Elton John, to Nicole Kidman, to Giuliana Rancic, to Sarah Jessica Parker, hear how gestational carriers have helped change the lives of some high-profile families.

Elton John
Sir Elton John and David Furnish welcomed their second son Elijah on January 11, 2013. The doting daddies used the same surrogate mother for their 2-year-old son Zachary.

“She is a wonderful, kind and loving woman,” Elton said of their surrogate, who thinks of her as “part of our family.”

The couple used the same egg donor for both boys and have chosen not to find out either of their son’s paternity.

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban welcomed daughter Sunday on July 8, 2008. But after a “roller-coaster ride with fertility,” the couple used a gestational carrier for their second child, now 2-year-old daughter Faith.

“Having given birth and then being there to see my child born in that way, I felt so much love for our surrogate, gestational carrier,” Nicole said.

The Academy Award-winner went on to discuss why she uses the term “gestational carrier” as opposed to “surrogate” – something she was criticized for in the days following the announcement of Faith’s birth.

“We were trying to be accurate,” she shared. “The term ‘gestational carrier’ is used if it’s your biological child and if it isn’t, then you use ‘surrogate.’ I mean, who knows what it is. But she’s the most wonderful woman to do this for us.”

Elizabeth Banks
What to Expect When You’re Expecting actress Elizabeth Banks and husband Max Handelman have welcomed both sons – Felix, nearly 2, and Magnus, 3 months – via surrogate mother.

“Like Felix, Magnus was born via gestational surrogate,” she shared. “This experience has exceeded all expectations, taught us a great deal about generosity and gratitude, and established a relationship that will last a lifetime. I am also so very thankful to our family and friends for their support throughout this process, as well as the Center for Surrogate Parenting for helping make all this possible.”

“It was a womb issue for me. Embryos wouldn’t implant,” she said of her fertility issues. “It’s a big leap, inviting this person into your life to do this amazing, important thing for you. And it’s hard losing that kind of control. But our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she’s still in our lives. She’s like an auntie.”

Neil Patrick Harris
How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris and partner David Burtka are dads to 2-year-old twins Harper and Gideon. The Doogie Houser alum opened up about welcoming the twins via surrogate mother.

“We really, really wanted kids,” NPH said. “We really had thought it through financially, emotionally, relationship-wise. We didn’t just accidentally get pregnant and decide that now we need to make this work. These kids come into our world with nothing but love.”

The handsome couple talked the science behind the birth of the fraternal twins, revealing each father fertilized one egg and the twins were carried and born via one surrogate.

Burtka explained that the twins were conceived by “two eggs, two embryos, one of mine, one of his.”

The couple knew the surrogate, whom Burtka described as “more like the oven.” And they found an anonymous egg donor through a donation bank where they were able to research her personal and medical history.

(more…)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Boston Declares Health Emergency Amid U.S. Flu Outbreak
With flu cases in this city up tenfold from last year, the mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency on Wednesday as authorities around the United States scrambled to cope with a rising number of patients. (via Reuters)

Study: Bilinguals Have Faster Brains
Speaking two languages can actually help offset some effects of aging on the brain, a new study has found. (via ABC News)

A Call to Obama to Focus on Early Childhood Education
President Obama will be delivering his State of the Union address outlining his priorities for the next year in a few weeks. Here’s an open letter to Obama urging him to make early childhood education — an initiative that has proven results — a real priority in his second term. (via Washington Post)

Report: NH Preventing Tooth Decay in Children
The latest study shows the compound found in plastic and food packaging can put youngsters at risk for future heart disease. (via Boston News)

Eli Lilly Settles Mass. Pregnancy Drug-Cancer Case
Eli Lilly and Co. has settled a lawsuit brought by four sisters who contended their breast cancer was caused by a drug their mother took during pregnancy in the 1950s, a move some believe could trigger financial settlements in scores of other claims brought by women around the country. (via ABC News)

California Teachers Pension Fund Moves To Divest From Guns, Firearms Companies
The nation’s largest teacher pension fund took the first step Wednesday toward divesting from companies that make guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines that are illegal in California. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Study Links Milk-Producing Protein to Aggressive Breast Cancer
The discovery that a protein which triggers milk production in women may also be responsible for making breast cancers aggressive could open up new opportunities for treatment of the most common and deadliest form of cancer among women. (via Reuters)

Cancer Drug Shortage Leads to Less-Effective Substitute Drugs, Study Finds
In a new study, doctors highlight how the scarcity of drug mechlorethamine has been linked to a higher rate of relapse among children, teenagers, and young adults with Hodgkin lymphoma. (via ABC News)

Report Finds Small Decline in Food Ads Targeted at Children
According to a recent report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), food-and-beverage marketers have made “modest nutritional improvements” in their advertising targeted to youngsters but have upped spending on new-media campaigns. (via Time)

Russia’s Adoption Politics: Defeated Families Caught in a Diplomatic Tailspin
On Friday, Russia President Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban that would cease adoption of Russian children by American families. The ban, called the Dima Yakovlev Law, throws families and tens of thousands of Russian orphans into the middle of a political tit-for-tat that began with the U.S. passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. (via Time)

 

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Falling TVs Can Kill, But Few Parents Aware of Risk
Falling TV sets have killed more than 200 children since 2000, but parents remain largely unaware of the danger, according to new reports. (via USA Today)

C-Section Babies More Likely to Become Overweight
Children born via cesarean section are slightly more likely than babies delivered vaginally to become heavy or obese, according to a new review of studies. (via Reuters)

Delaying Childbirth May Reduce Risk of One Form of Breast Cancer
Younger women who wait at least 15 years after their first menstrual period to give birth to their first child may reduce their risk of an aggressive form of breast cancer by up to 60 percent, according to a new study. (via ScienceDaily)

Peanut Butter, Garlic Bread Back on School Plates
The Obama administration recently reversed some of the new school healthy lunch rules, and the kids are happy again. (via CNN)

Stroller Recalled Because of Collapsing Hazard
Baby Jogger City Versa strollers are being recalled because the frame can fail to lock in place and collapse while in use, posing a fall hazard to children in the stroller. (via Huffington Post)

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