Breast Cancer Awareness

ATT00009We’ve gone all pink this month, as October is International Breast Cancer Awareness month.   An opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease.  It’s also an opportunity to get together and raise money for more cancer research so hopefully one day we can get rid of this awful disease.

My main focus is awareness… So… I’m going to use this opportunity to tell you why you should check your boobs EVERY month.

2 years ago, at age 38 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I found a lump the size of a pea just under my armpit after doing my regular self-examination.  After a trip to the doctor I was whisked off for surgery (a lumpectomy) followed by intensive courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Although I lost a lot… my hair, my confidence and the ability to have more children I am here today, I survived and kicked cancers arse!311846_10150465740804529_1667862055_n

I learnt to do regular self-examinations after losing a friend to breast cancer 10 years ago.

Don’t be fooled by thinking that just because you don’t have a history of breast cancer in the family that it wont happen to you… there was no breast cancer history in my family but I still got it.

I have put these pictures on here and told my story, not for sympathy but for pure shock value. Take control of your bodies and be aware of changes.  I saved my own life by religiously checking my boobs every month.

Please pass this on to your sisters, mothers, grandmothers and girlfriends. Spread the awareness ladies!  Please check yours tonight and make it a habit.  Early detection saves lives…

Kaz

xxx

photo12Why not make the whole process a bit more fun by installing an app to remind you… this one is great because every reminder is delivered personally to you by a hunky guy like this one!1374381_10151712082710748_430240304_n

Sun Splash’s Top Tips for Sexy Summer Ready Skin

Sun Splash Spray tan The skin is the largest organ of the body and we need to treat it with tender loving care.

Drink lots of water

Drinking water is seriously underestimated, I swear by it for fabulous skin.  Not only does water have no fat, no calories, no carbs and no sugar (yay!) it also makes up more than 60% of our body mass. It is the main ingredient in all body fluids, including lymph, blood, digestive juices, urine, tears and sweat so it just makes sense to drink it on a daily basis.  As for our skin water provides our biggest organ with buoyancy and elasticity so it needs to stay hydrated from the inside out.

Top tip: Always have a glass of water on the go.  If you are starting to feel hungry drink a glass of water before you eat anything as your body may be tricking you and you may be thirsty not hungry.

Exfoliate at least twice a week

Exfoliating removes dead skin from the upper layers leaving new and younger skin to shine through.  Check out this blog post – “How to Exfoliate without using Chemicals”, for some hints and tips

Top tip: Exfoliate in the morning to wake you up and give your skin a healthy glow.

Remove unwanted hair 

For ultra sleek and smooth skin the hair has to come off! Before carrying out any hair removal exfoliate first, this will help to lift any hairs that may’ve ingrown. There are a few ways to remove the hair: shaving, waxing, electrolysis etc. in a salon or DIY, go with whatever suits you the best.  Always perform hair removal 24 hours before having a spray tan, this will ensure your pores are closed for an even application.

Top tip: Hair conditioner is a great alternative to shaving cream.

Moisturize

We drink water to improve our skin from the inside but we also need to keep it hydrated from the outside too. Moisturizers hold water in the outermost layer of skin and they also act as a temporary barrier (which is why you must not apply moisturizer before a spray tan).

Moisturize your whole body after you get out of water to keep the skin from drying out.

Its best to use a moisturizer especially formulated for your skin type, especially on your face.

Top tip: Don’t forget your feet – before getting into bed slather on moisturizer and wake up to super soft feet.

Have a Sun Splash spray tan

Sunburn is not sexy (or safe) and the only way to look sun kissed and sexy the healthy way is to imitate it with a Sun Splash Spray tan.  Remember to exfoliate your whole body before a spray tan. To extend the life of your tan, avoid soaps or body washes containing heaps of chemicals as these will strip your tan, exfoliate gently after day 4 and moisturize at least once a day… twice a day is even better!

Top tip: Use a body wash and moisturizer specially formulated for use with spray tans.

Have a great skincare routine

To keep skin looking youthful you need to follow a daily skin care routine.  I don’t mean just remembering to take your make up off before bed but also, exfoliating, moisturizing and applying sunscreen to your whole body.  Weekly treatments such as facemasks suitable for your skin type should also be included.  Do you need any more of an excuse to book that facial or body treatment!

Top tip: Avoid hot showers; water that is too hot for the skin will dry it out.

Use sun protection

The main cause of wrinkles is damage done by the sun.  The sun dehydrates your skin and damages it through ultraviolet (UV) radiation that penetrates below its top layer. The greatest damage occurs deep in the dermal layer, where elastin and collagen fibers break down quickly…. this leads to loose, sagging, deeply wrinkled, and older-looking skin.

Of course we don’t want to completely stay out of the sun as we need to maintain our vitamin D levels but wearing sunscreen is so very necessary especially for those of us that live in Australia.  Sensible sun protection will not put you at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Do not be tricked into thinking that a spray tan will protect you against damaging UV radiation.  Apply an oil free sunscreen 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. A sunscreen that is not oil free will strip your spray tan.

Top tip: Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 30+ oil free sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek shade or shelter, Slide on some sunnies. – “Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide”.  www.cancer.org.au/ for more information.

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you feel and look your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and lean proteins. Stay away from processed food and cut down on your sugar intake.  Research suggests that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals from natural sources and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.

Top tip: Replace sugar in your tea or coffee with honey, a natural sugar substitute.

Check your Boobs!

Inspirational quoteI thought I would write my first ‘real’ blog post on boobs, we all have them and they need to be looked after!

Boobs… a subject very close to my heart, not just because all boobs are fabulous but because paying close attention to them at least once a month is so very important… why? 2 words – Breast Cancer.

I was diagnosed last year (2011) with breast cancer and after 7 months of aggressive treatment – surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy I am now in remission… yay!!!

But this could’ve been a different story if I was not aware of my body and didn’t religiously do the boob check. I caught it early because of doing this every month. I had no history of breast cancer in my family and as you can imagine it came as quite a shock. So please, if you don’t already do a regular boob check please start…..you could save your own life like I did.

If you have no idea where to start check out the following tutorial or click on this site for more information. www.cheekycheckup.com.au/

Take control of your health – you can help protect yourself against Breast cancer. Early detection has been proven to save lives!

How To Do a Breast Self Exam (BSE)

If you are pre-menopausal:

  • Set a regular time to examine your breasts a few days after your period ends, when hormone levels are relatively stable and breasts are less tender.

If you are already menopausal (have not had a period for a year or more):

  • Pick a particular day of the month to do the exam, and then repeat your BSE on that day each month.

You should look out for the following changes:

  • A lump or lumpiness or even a change in shape or appearance of your breast such a dimpling, redness and appearance of veins
  • An area that feels different to the rest of your breast or any pain in your breast
  • Any change in the shape or appearance of your nipple, such as your nipple being pulled in or development of a rash
  • A discharge from your nipple, particularly if it is bloody

How to check your Boobs – step by step

1. In the privacy of your bathroom, strip to the waist and stand in front of a mirror. You will need to see both breasts at the same time. Stand with your hands on your hips and check the appearance of your breasts. Look at size, shape, and contour. Note changes, if any, in the skin color or texture. Look at the nipples to see how healthy they look.

2. Still standing in front of the mirror, raise your arms over your head and see if your breasts move in the same way, and note any differences. Look at size, shape, and drape, checking for symmetry. Pay attention to your nipples and areolas, to see if you have any dimples, bumps, or retraction (indentation). Look up toward your armpits and note if there is any swelling where your lymph nodes are (lower armpit area).

3. Raise your left arm overhead, and use your right-hand fingers to apply gentle pressure to the left breast. Stroke from the top to the bottom of the breast, moving across from the inside of the breast all the way into your armpit area. You can also use a circular motion, being sure to cover the entire breast area. Take note of any changes in texture, color, or size. Switch sides and repeat. This is best done in the shower, as wet skin will have the least resistance to the friction of your fingers.

4. Still facing the mirror, lower both arms. With the index and middle fingers of your right hand, gently squeeze the left nipple and pull forward. Does the nipple spring back into place? Does it pull back into the breast? Note whether or not any fluid leaks out. Reverse your hands and check the right nipple in the same way.

5. Place a pillow on the bed so that you can lie with both your head and shoulders on the pillow. Lie down and put your left hand behind your head. Use your right hand to stroke the breast and underarm, as you did in step 3. Take note of any changes in texture, color, or size. Switch sides and repeat.