Comfort Slings Help Relieve Soreness and Abrasion Beneath the Breasts

Breast Cancer Sling For Radiation TherapyBy Margot Malin, 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. They tend to heal very slowly.

We’d like to introduce you to a new product called the Breast Comfort Sling which can help improve comfort and prevent the continuing abrasion or fold over effect. The BreastComfort 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.Breast Cancer Comfort Sling on Breast Cancer Authority BlogThe most effective way for women who are receiving radiation therapy to the underside of the breast to minimize excessive side effects to the skin is to begin wearing the BreastComfort Single Sling from the beginning of treatment. However, the wearing the sling can be initiated at any time during treatment, or even after treatment to reduce lingering radiation dermatitis or other skin discomfort. Wearing the sling as many hours as possible throughout the day, especially when sleeping, is most effective.

The BreastComfort Sling is designed to be worn without a bra. Therefore, if patients want to wear a bra during the day, perhaps at work or when “out and about”, the BreastComfort Strapless Cushioned Bra Inserts are recommended. The pad (bra insert), with no straps, is tucked underneath the breast, inside the bra cup, offering both comfort to sore breasts throughout the day, and further protection from rubbing against the bra and underwires. Wearing a bra with a band beneath the underwire is preferable to prevent the cushion from slipping out of place. (Some women may find it necessary to purchase a larger bra or cup size when wearing the BreastComfort Strapless Cushioned Bra Inserts).

The fabric for the BreastComfort Slings 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.

BreastComfort Slings 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.

To learn more about the BreastComfort Sling, and BreastComfort Cushioned Bra Insert Pads click HERE.

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About Margot Malin: Intellectually cMargot Malinurious and fiercely independent, Margot Malin has a passion for knowledge.  After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, she launched her career by analyzing and evaluating businesses.  In 2002 she embarked on the “creative reinvention” phase of her career with the intention of “giving back”. Margot founded Lots To Live For, Inc., an internet retailer that sells carefully selected products to reduce and relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

Reducing Radiation Damage With Ginger & Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm and Ginger Protect Against RadiatiopnBy: Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

The German Medical Association finally just apologized for the profession’s role in the Nazi atrocities, 65 years after 20 physicians stood trial in Nuremberg. During the trial, the Nazi doctors argued that their experiments were not unlike previous studies by researchers in the United States, like Dr. Strong’s injection of prisoners with the plague. Nazi Docs were hung; Dr. Strong, went on to Harvard. And we were just getting started. The few examples the Nazis cited were nothing compared to what the American medical establishment started doing after Nuremburg. After all prisoners are much cheaper than chimpanzees.

Much attention has focused on our cold war radiation experiments, which remained classified for decades. Declassification, the American Energy Commission warned, they would have a very poor effect on the public, because they described experiments performed on human subjects, including the actual injection of plutonium into the body. Subjects like Mr.Cade, a 53 “colored male” who got in a car accident and ended up in the hospital—great! Let’s inject him with plutonium.

Who else is powerless besides patients? How about kids, at the Fernald School for the mentally retarded in Waltham, Massachusetts who were fed radioactive isotopes in their breakfast cereal. Despite the Pentagon’s insistence that these were the “only feasible means” of developing ways to protect people from radiation, researchers have since come up with a few ways that don’t violate the Nuremburg code, which states the only time doctors are allowed to do experiments that may kill or disable people if they themselves are willing to sign up as experimental subjects as well.

One way is to study cells in a petri dish. The protective effect of Zingerone against radiation-induced genetic damage and cell death in human white blood cells. What is zingerone? It’s a phytonutrient found in cooked ginger root. You blast cells with some gamma rays and you get less DNA damage and fewer free radicals when add ginger phytonutrients. They even compared it to the leading drug injected into people to protect them from radiation sickness and found the ginger compound to be 150 times more powerful. And without the serious side effects of the drug itself.

They conclude that it’s an inexpensive natural product that may protect against radiation-induced damage. In fact lots of different plant-products have been found to be protective in vitro against radiation damage by a whole variety of mechanisms. After all, plants have been utilized since time immemorial for curing diseases, so they started screening plants and also found radiation-protective benefits from other plants one can find at grocery stores: garlic, turmeric, goji berries, mint leaves but this is all just on cells in a test tube. None had actually been tested in actual people, until now.

How are you going to find people exposed to radiation you can test stuff on? Well, aside from pilots, another group that suffers inordinate radiation exposure is the hospital workers that run the X-ray machines, who have been found to suffer chromosomal damage as a result, compared to other hospital staff, and higher levels of oxidative stress on their bodies. Although X-rays can damage DNA directly, much of the damage is caused by the free radicals generated by the radiation.

So, they asked radiology staff to drink two cups a day of lemon balm tea a for a month, an herbal tea known to have high levels of antioxidants as I showed in one of my favorite videos, Antioxidants in a Pinch. So what happened? The level of antioxidant enzymes in their bloodstream went up and the level of free radical damage went down, leading to the conclusion that oral administration of lemon balm tea may be helpful for the protection of the radiology staff against radiation-induced oxidative stress and improve antioxidant defense system, especially enzymatic defense, due to its antioxidant properties. And if that’s the reason that practically any plant should fit the bill. So know that as you’re sucking on some crystalized ginger to prevent travel sickness on some airplane, little did you know that you may be protecting yourself from the cosmic radiation at that altitude as well.

Michael Greger M.D.About Michael Greger M.D.
Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial. Currently Dr. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States.

Photo Source: ThePlumPalet.com

How To Use Lavender & Peppermint Essential Oils

Breast Cancer Essential OilsBy: Cynthia Shankman, Young Living Oil Consultant

When using essential oils during chemotherapy or radiation, it is a best practice to use them as inhalation therapy.
In my first blog post I discussed where essential oils come from; the place essential oils hold in history dating back to early Egyptian times; and the different grades of essential oils.  To clear up any confusion, the term aromatherapy is the use of essential oils.

The essential oils I use exclusively are Young Living Oils.  I use this brand exclusively because they have been registered as safe for internal use as supplements by the USDA.  Now I am not a girl who believes everything the USDA says, (I am very much an alternative health girl), but because there is zero regulation on the production and distilling of essential oils, I take the USDA approval as a vote of confidence in the purity of these oils.

Labels on essential oils in grocery stores and health food stores will often say, ‘do not place on skin’ or ‘for aroma only’ or ‘do not ingest.’  This is not the case with Young Living Oils.  The quality of Young Living Oils have a proven 20 year history of being used topically and internally with great success.  I would never suggest using an oil of inferior quality as a therapeutic health alternative.

When using essential oils during chemotherapy or radiation, it is a best practice to use them as inhalation therapy only on those days.  Each individual has a unique situation, a unique body, a unique plan for wellness.  What you read here is a general recommendation.  Please check with your doctor when using alternative modalities.

Today we discuss 3 therapeutic grade Young Living essential oils and how to use them.

  • Lavender for calming and natural mood therapy
  • Peppermint for nausea and stomach upset
  • Aroma Life for lymphatic health, circulation, reduce stress, hemorrhoids, may reduce blood pressure.

Lavender Essential Oil For Breast Cancer
Lavender is a universal oil and the most widely used of all essential oils. It has a traditional history for calming and balancing the mind and body.  Just a short inhale of Lavender can turn emotions to calm and peaceful.

How will Lavender help me?
Support confidence and good thoughts. Improve brain clarity and dispel brain fog.
Ease anxiety, exhaustion, and nervousness.  Improve sleep and mood.  Stop allergic reactions.

How do I use Lavender?
Topical: Place 1 – 2 drops on wrists, back of neck, temples, massage on soles of feet, place over heart.
Diffuse:  Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so that all healing components are kept in integrity.  Diffuse next to bed at night for a calm and peaceful sleep.  Before getting into bed, place a few drops into your palms, rub your hands together and apply over pillow for a peaceful sleep.  Place 2 drops in hand, rub together, place over nose and inhale consistently for 20 seconds.
Internal: Place 1 drop into tea as a flavoring to replace sugar.  (Do not use oils internally during medical treatments such as chemo or radiation.)

Peppermint is the second most widely used essential oil.  It has multiple uses and supports the body on every level, mental, emotional and physical.  Just a short inhale of Peppermint will invigorate and uplift the mood and mind.

How do I use Peppermint?
Topical:  Place 2 drops on forehead and back of neck to relieve a headache in minutes.  Place 2 drops on stomach to improve a stomach ache and improve digestion. Place 2 drops on an ache or pain to ease pain within minutes.
Diffuse:  To dispel nausea, dispel brain fog and invigorate mood, place 2 drops in hand, rub hands together, then cup over nose, inhale for 20 seconds.  Repeat as often as needed.  You cannot overdo essential oils. Do this every 5 minutes if needed. Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so all healing components are kept in integrity.
Internal:  For quick stomach ache relief, place 2 drops Peppermint in ½ cup of water, and drink down.  Can place 1 drop Peppermint oil in tea to replace sugar.  (Do not use oils internally during medical treatments such as chemo or radiation.)

Aroma Life is a blend of essential oils exclusive to Young Living.  When essential oils are blended together, the components equal more than their individual qualities alone.  Aroma Life is a blend of Cypress, Marjoram, Helichrysum, Ylang Ylang.

How do I use Aroma Life?
Topically:  To improve the lymphatic and circulatory systems place 2 drops over lymphatic areas such as side of neck/chest, upper arms, behind knees, groin area. Place 2 drops over heart to improve circulation and reduce stress. Place 2 drops in palm with ¼ tsp coconut or olive oil, apply directly to hemorrhoid.  Apply 1 drop to under the left ring finger or left ring toe to ease anxiety and improve circulation.  Can add 1 drop of grapefruit or orange oil to improve circulation and lymphatic flow even further.
Diffuse:  Diffuse using a cold mist diffuser so that all healing components are kept in integrity.  Diffuse to improve lung circulation.  Diffuse next to bed at night for a calm and peaceful sleep.
Internal:  No internal use for Aroma Life

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these beautiful essential oils.  I view them as gifts from nature that help me at ever juncture of my life.  They are truly a gift to the senses and the body.  In my next post we will discuss two more beautiful and healing oils:  Frankincense and Joy Oil.

If you have questions or comments, please use the space below and I will respond to you.

If you would like to speak with me for a free 15 minutes consultation, please:
Leave a comment below
Contact me @cynthia.organicsparkle@gmail.com
Call or text me @ 631-241-1496

Blessings, Love, and Oils,
Cynthia

Tips For Oral Health While Undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiation

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

Chemotherapy and oncology radiation can cause oral complications.  In fact, oral complications from radiation to the head and neck or chemotherapy are extremely common and can compromise quality of life and affect the patient’s ability to complete his or her treatment protocol. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the side effects to the mouth, gums, and teeth that can result from cancer treatment.  In this blog post we offer some helpful tips so that you can be adequately prepared.  To simplify the discussion we have organized this post into 3 parts: Part One – Before Beginning Chemo and Radiation; Part Two – Probable Oral Side Effects; Part Three – Tips for Maintaining Oral Health and Comfort Including Product Suggestions

Mouth_Kote

 Before Beginning Chemotherapy and Radiation

Approximately one month prior to starting a cancer treatment protocol it is a good idea to have an oral assessment from a dentist. This visit is often called “pretreatment” oral care. It allows for prompt identification and treatment of existing infections or other problems. It is also a good idea to have on oral prophylaxis (cleaning). Oral surgery should be timed at least two weeks prior to starting myelosuppressive chemotherapy.

Probable Oral Side Effects from Chemo and Radiation

Once chemo and / or radiation has begun, probably side effects with affect the mouth and gums may include:

  1. Oral mucositis/stomatitis or inflammation and ulceration of the mucus membranes.
  2. Infection – viral, bacterial or fungal infections may occur
  3. Xerostomia also known as dry mouth, is caused by salivary gland dysfunction. Persistent dry mouth increases the risk of dental issues.
  4. Mouth sores may develop
  5. Functional disabilities such as an impaired ability to eat, taste, swallow and speak
  6. Dental decay and demineralization – decay and erosion of the tooth’s surface as a result of changes in both the quality and quantity of saliva from cancer treatment
  7. Bleeding due to decreased platelets

biotene_mouth_spray

Tips for Maintaining Oral Health and Decreasing Side Effects During Treatment

  1. Gently brush your teeth, gums and the tongue with an extra soft toothbrush after every meal and before bed.  You can use toothpastes that are specially formulated for cancer patients such as Biotene Toothpaste – which contains natural salivary enzymes that boost and replenish your oral defense system.
  2. Take small bites of food, chew slowly and sip liquids with and between meals.
  3. Avoid sharp, crunchy foods that can scrape or cut your sensitive mouth and gums.
  4. To relieve dry mouth use a saliva substitute such as a mouth moisturizing product (such as Oral Balance, or MouthKote) or oral rinse. Do not use any products containing alcohol as an ingredient.
  5. Avoid hard, sugar candy and carbonated soda. You can use sugarless candy to help hydrate your mouth.
  6. Chew Biotene Dry Mouth Sugar-Free Gum to stimulate salivary flow and protect between brushes.
  7. Use a cool mist moisturizer at night.
  8. Keep your lips moist with a gentle lip balm (Lindiskin Lip Balm or 7 Balm, for example)
  9. You may need supplemental fluoride – as directed and prescribed by your dentist.

“To be forewarned is to be forearmed” as the saying goes:  advance warning provides an advantage. Being aware of the potential for oral issues during cancer treatment is the first step, and has been accomplished by reading this blog piece. Being proactive is one of the best solutions.  If you are prepared and know what to expect, you can be extra vigilant with oral care. You can see a dentist before you start your cancer treatment protocol. You can choose your foods carefully. Keep your mouth hydrated by drinking and sipping fluids. You can purchase special products which will be helpful to maintaining your oral health prior to commencing your treatment. Maintain a dialog with both your dentist, oncologist, and oncology nurses during treatment. Try to address any oral care issues that arise promptly, so your treatment protocol is not interrupted.

lindiskin_lip_balm

You can purchase a variety of products for oral care during cancer treatment on the website www.LotsToLiveFor.com. There is a special section on the website dedicated to oral care products.  Cancer treatment can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. Techniques and products to reduce side effects can help make the process more comfortable and hopefully improve your frame of mind, your energy, and hopefully your overall outcome. At Lots To Live For, Inc. we provide products and resources related to cancer side effect solutions which can help you maintain your normal lifestyle during your treatment.

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