Our Surgeons Show Support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. And it’s important that we take the time to remember those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, support those who are battling it, and celebrate those who have won their cancer battle.

One of the ways The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction likes to celebrate is to get involved in community events that are focused on breast cancer awareness.

This year we’ve been invited to participate in a series of Breast Cancer symposiums. We are thrilled that two of our surgeons, Dr. Craigie and Dr. Kline, will be included in the panel for these discussions.

All of the Charleston, SC, community is invited to attend these talks, and we encourage you to attend if you are able!

Check out the details below…

East Cooper Breast Cancer Symposium – October 4

The first Breast Cancer educational symposium will be held at the East Cooper Medical Center. The event will take place in the classrooms at the hospital, limiting registration to about 40 people.

During this event, a panel of medical experts will be talking about a variety of breast cancer topics, from treatment and prevention to reconstructive surgeries and life after breast cancer.

The facility will be serving boxed dinners for participants to enjoy during the panel talk, which will take place from 6:00 p.m. to around 8:00 p.m.

Space is limited, so if you’re interested in attending please call the East Cooper Medical Center at (888) 417-1377 to find out how to register for the event.

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day Talks – October 17, 18, and 19

To celebrate Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRA day), three talks on breast reconstruction will be held over the course of three days—October 17, 18, and 19.

All three events will feature medical professionals and surgeons who are active members of Roper’s breast cancer team. The topics of discussion will focus on reconstructive breast surgery.

A few featured topics include…

  • A presentation on fat grafting.
  • A discussion on Micro Autologous.
  • A talk on lymph node transfer.

The first talk will be held on Tuesday, October 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Roper Mount Pleasant in Classrooms 1, 2, and 3. For more information, click here.

The second talk will be held on Wednesday, October 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Roper Bon Secours St. Francis, Mall Classrooms 1, 2, and 3. For more information, click here.

The third talk will be held on Thursday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Roper Hospital, Irene Dixon Auditorium. For more information, click here.

Please note that the same talks will be given each night, so it’s only necessary to attend one event if you have an interest in going.

On behalf of our entire staff, we wish you a happy National Breast Cancer Awareness month. And to those of you who are currently battling breast cancer, our thoughts are with you.

Do you have any National Breast Cancer Awareness month activities on your schedule that you’re excited about?

Share them with us in the comments below!

Cancer Support Programs for People Battling Cancer

 

As we’re quickly approaching the end of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction want to express our gratitude for the many ways people brought awareness to breast cancer this month.

Just because National Breast Cancer Awareness Month ends soon doesn’t mean we should stop raising awareness and helping those that are currently facing cancer.

That’s why we’d like to share a few of our favorite cancer support programs.

All of these programs are designed to assist individual people and families that are battling cancer of any kind.

Thanks to the fundraisers and events that go on during this month (as well as other cancer awareness months), these organizations can provide ongoing support to those in need.

If you have cancer, or know someone who does, we encourage you to check out and share these programs.

Road To Recovery

The Road To Recovery program was created to give cancer patients access to transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.

This program is made up of volunteers that generously donate their time to help those in need.

Find out more about the program here.

Reach To Recovery® Program

Finding out you have cancer can be overwhelming. Especially when you don’t have a solid network of friends and family to support you.

The Reach to Recovery® Program is made up of volunteer breast cancer survivors who give patients and/or family members an opportunity to express feelings, talk about fears and concerns, and ask questions of someone who has been there.

Find out more about the program here.

Hope Lodge

Facing cancer is hard enough without having to travel across the country for treatments. Yet, many cancer patients have to travel numerous times to get access to the treatments they need.

Each Hope Lodge location offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay during treatment in a city they have to travel to. Not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows guests to focus on getting well.

Find out more about the program here.

Cancer Support Community

Having a support system outside of your friends and family is important when battling cancer. Especially when you can find a support group of people who have had the same cancer battle you are currently going though.

The cancer support community will get you hooked up with all of the resources, contacts, and support groups you need to make sure you are supported as you battle cancer.

Find out more about the program here.

Do you have a favorite cancer support program?

Let us know in the comments below!

Finding a Cure for Breast Cancer: How You Can Help

Photo Source:  http://www.komenminnesota.org/Komen_Race_for_the_Cure_/Photo_Gallery.htm

Photo Source: http://www.komenminnesota.org/Komen_Race_for_the_Cure_/Photo_Gallery.htm

 

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is in full swing, and we are continuing our recognition at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.

We hope you are, too!

There are many reasons we have an awareness month for breast cancer.

This month is a great time to celebrate breast cancer survivors, remember those who lost their battle, and come together as a community to support those who are currently fighting this awful disease.

Part of the celebration is also to hold events that help fund research to find a cure for breast cancer.

We are so grateful to the doctors and scientists who spend countless hours researching and studying for this cause.

But medical professionals and science experts aren’t the only ones who can help.

You can help find a cure for breast cancer, too!

Keep reading to see how you can contribute during National Breast Cancer Awareness Week.

Participate in Fundraising Events for Cancer

When you participate in fundraising events, you’re helping to raise money that’s used for cancer research, new medical treatments, and to help families that are in need while battling cancer.

And if that wasn’t a good enough reason to participate, fundraising events are also fun!

From races like Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure to golf outings like Swing for the Cure, there are fundraising events for everyone to enjoy.

And the best part? They are family friendly.

Get your girlfriends and family together and form a fundraising team. Check out a few more of our favorite fundraising events here.

Volunteer Your Skills for Cancer Research

If you have a medical or science background, you might be able to donate your research skills and medical expertise to help find a cure for breast cancer.

Talk to your local hospital about different opportunities for research available.

Because it’s medical research, you’re going to have to go through some testing to participate in various research programs. But if you pass the testing, doctors and scientists will be grateful to have you on board as a volunteer.

Support Someone with Cancer

If you’re unable to support finding a cure to cancer through attending fundraising events or donating your skills as a medical professional, don’t worry.

One of the best things you can do is support someone who is battling breast cancer.

If you know a family member or friend who has cancer, ask her what you can do to help. Preparing a few meals, picking up carpool duty, or cleaning her home can make a huge difference for someone with cancer.

Even something as small as a handmade card or a phone call can lift up a friend or family member who isn’t feeling well.

Don’t know anyone with cancer? That’s ok.

There are many volunteer opportunities through hospitals to help with cancer patients. Sometimes the best gift you can give is volunteer to visit with someone for an hour.

And who knows, you might even make a new friend along the way.

Reach out to your local hospital and see what you can do to help!

Are you doing anything to help find a cure for cancer?

Please comment on our Facebook page!

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Show Your Support

We at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction would like you to remember that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

During this month, we remember those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, support those who are battling it, celebrate those who have won their cancer battle, and do as much breast cancer awareness promotion as we can to raise funds for new research and treatments.

And we’ve certainly come a long way!

So far, in fact, that the American Cancer Society said we have approximately 2.8 million breast cancer survivors to date, thanks to new research, medical treatments, and detection technology.

Now that’s something to celebrate!

One of the ways we want to celebrate this month is by sharing one of our favorite awareness campaigns happening October 19—The Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign.

What Is It?

Sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign is designed to make women aware of their breast reconstruction options.

While breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumpectomy is not for everyone, every woman should be informed of the options to which she is legally entitled.

This campaign aims both to educate women about their options and to provide women with the funds needed if they cannot afford breast reconstruction procedures.

How Can You Help?

The Breast Reconstruction Awareness Campaign is supported by charitable donations. Donations of any size are always appreciated.

If you’d rather participate than provide monetary support, individuals and groups are encouraged to start a Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day event in your area.

There is no fee to participate, and ASPS offers a free Starter Guide to help plan the activities.

Another way to show your support is to become an affiliate.

Affiliates hosting a fundraising event receive a free Marketing and PR toolkit to assist in advertising. They also share their events with ASPS and all events are posted to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day events page and all social media platforms.

Visit the site now to see how you can get involved.

Why We Love This Event

We believe every woman—whether she’s had cancer or not−deserves to feel confident and beautiful.

Thanks to this yearly event, women who are uninsured or under-insured have access to safe and timely breast reconstructive services.

And that means women have the opportunity to get the help they need to feel beautiful and confident after a battle with breast cancer.

Do you have a favorite Breast Cancer Awareness Month event?

Share it with us below!

Summer Surgery Tips and Suggestions from Nurse Chris

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Chris in Ireland

Our nurse, Chris Murakami, just returned from a wonderful vacation in Ireland and wanted to share some tips about sun and surgery with our readers!

Planning surgery during the summer months?

Here are some things to remember during vacations, trips to the beach, boating, or simply working in the yard.

It is very important to avoid becoming sunburned before surgery. It is quite possible you could be asked to postpone your surgery depending on the nature of the procedure and the degree of sunburn.  Many of our patients put a great deal of research and planning into scheduling surgery.  Making travel plans, arranging time off of work, and obtaining care givers is no easy task!  We’re here to help you keep your surgery plan on track.

Avoiding sun exposure immediately after surgery is equally important.  You are more likely to burn during that time period especially in areas that blood flow has been disrupted. Keep in mind your sensitivity to heat can be diminished so you might not realize that you are getting burned.

Submerging your body in standing water should not be done until all incisions are completely healed.  This typically takes as long as three to four weeks, but be sure that there is no open or draining area nor any remaining sutures before considering that summer swim.   There are micro-organisms out there that can cause infections and your intact skin normally provides a natural barrier.   You should always avoid the ocean, lakes, rivers, pools, hot tubs etc. whenever you have open wounds – surgical or traumatic.

As far as long term care, try to avoid sun exposure to both your incision lines and any bruised areas. The sun can turn your scars and skin dark if they are exposed before they completely heal or mature. This process typically takes about a year to happen for the surgical scar.  A good guideline is to wait until the scar is no longer pink before considering sun exposure.

Having surgery does not mean that you can’t enjoy the remainder of your summer!   Just be prepared. Stay in the shade as much as possible.  Hats, umbrellas, and sunblock are a must during pre and post-surgical weeks.  And remember, when you are out in the sun and heat, always stay well hydrated! – Have a great Summer! – Chris

Do you have a summer surgery tip to share with our readers?

Our Favorite Komen Lowcountry Events

 

We at The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction are committed to our amazing patients and the organizations that support them. That’s why you can find us helping out at any number of the Komen Lowcountry events held in Charleston, SC.

We support Komen Lowcountry because the foundation creates a support system for women diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones.

Not only do these Lowcountry events raise money and awareness for the cause, but participants also have fun while supporting research and treatment initiatives.

No matter if you’re a Charleston native or you’re planning a trip to the Lowcountry, we hope you’ll attend some of the upcoming breast cancer fundraising events.

Before we give you the skinny on local fundraising opportunities, we want to remind you of the health care resources you have—before and after breast cancer.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed yourself, or you’ve beaten breast cancer, our breast reconstruction services exist to help you recover, gain confidence, and tackle your survivorship with renewed purpose.

We invite you to drop by our office for a consultation on natural breast reconstruction, or you can even ask one of our surgeons any questions you have right here.

Why we support Komen Lowcountry

When you lend your time, money, and support, you are backing a group that is dedicated to….

  • Developing new approaches to prevention, so that fewer women experience breast cancer.
  • Identifying and improving methods of early breast cancer detection, so that patients can receive proactive treatment and become a survivor.
  • Ensuring more accurate diagnoses, so that women can make the ideal health care decisions for themselves and their families.
  • Creating personalized treatments based on genetic makeup and individual needs, so that no one receives “cookie cutter” care.

The following three events are the Komen event staples in Charleston, but keep checking back, so you can see what’s new.

Race for the Cure®

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series has an amazing claim to fame. It is the largest and most profitable fundraising and education event for breast cancer in the world today.

When you come out, you will help provide awareness and much-needed funds that benefit breast cancer patients and survivors in the Charleston community.

You don’t have to run in the race! You don’t even have to walk. Giving volunteer time and/or financial support will help save lives.

Click here for more information on The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series.

Swing for the Cure

Susan G. Komen Lowcountry’s Swing for the Cure is another fun Charleston event that supports the fight against breast cancer.  Participants play either tennis or golf to raise money for research, prevention, and treatment.

There is a cocktail reception and a silent auction, alongside an oyster roast and barbecue.

Tickets are set at $30 per individual and $50 per couple, and proceeds benefit research and prevention efforts.  You do have to register for Swing for the Cure in order to attend, and you must purchase tickets!

Snag your tickets for Swing for the Cure here.

Worship in Pink

 In May 2016, Worship in Pink happens in honor of our mothers—especially those who have been through breast cancer. Over the years, Worship in Pink has provided more than 60,000 people with resources. As a faith-based initiative, this program helps reduce disparities in rural and low-income areas.

Come out this May and help work toward the vision of a world without breast cancer.

Click here for more information.

Community Health Workshops

Susan G. Komen’s Community Health Workshops exist to educate Charleston residents and visitors on establishing a healthy lifestyle, breast health, and techniques for stronger survivorship.

Keep an eye on this page for updates on the next workshop.

Tell us what we missed! Share your favorite fundraising events in the comments below.

How to Find the Perfect Breast Cancer Support Group

 

Breast cancer support is a crucial element of the healing process. There are so many factors to think about with physical recuperation that people often forget that the emotional element is huge.

A breast cancer survivor’s body needs to heal, but so must her heart. For this reason, the surgeons and staff at the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction recommend attending local breast cancer support groups.

While our surgeons and staff are here to lend an ear, answer questions, and alleviate concerns, a breast cancer support group provides you with an extra morale boost.

No matter what stage you’re in—whether you’ve recently received the news or you’ve beaten cancer all together—the cancer journey can be a lifelong experience.

And the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is prepared to stand by your side and help you emerge victorious.

We’ve listed a few Charleston-area breast cancer support groups below, but it’s important to first think about your unique needs. Some factors to consider are whether or not…

  • You’ve had surgery already.
  • You’ve not made all the health care decisions you need to.
  • You need spiritual or religious guidance.
  • You have beaten breast cancer or you’re still fighting.

All of these factors have a bearing on the breast cancer support system you choose. Our main criterion at the Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction is that support groups cater to your emotional needs as well as your education.

If you have any questions about breast cancer support, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 1-866-374-2627 or ask our surgeons your questions here.

See below for a few breast cancer support groups located in Charleston.

S.A.S.S.Y. Breast Cancer Support Group

Located at the John Wesley United Methodist Church, the S.A.S.S.Y. breast cancer support group caters especially to young women under the age of 45. In addition to the support group itself, S.A.S.S.Y. also promotes Charleston events year round.

Find out more.

Reach to Recovery

Reach To Recovery volunteers give support for people recently diagnosed with breast cancer, people facing a possible diagnosis, those interested in or who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy, and those considering breast reconstruction.

Expressions of Healing

Though not unique to breast cancer, this Roper St. Francis Health Services program is a wonderful group for survivors of all cancer types. We like this support group, as it provides a creative outlet for patients, survivors, and the people who love them.

Using visual art and literature as a form of therapy, Expressions of Healing offers six weekly sessions that are held twice a year.

Click here for more information

Share your favorite Charleston-area breast cancer support groups in the comments below!

[Video] Natural Breast Reconstruction Q & A

Dr. Richard Kline answers Cheryl Harleston’s questions regarding breast reconstruction.

What this video covers:

  • The different breast reconstruction options available for women.
  • What to expect when undergoing a natural breast reconstruction procedure.
  • Why natural breast reconstruction may be the best procedure for some patients.

To find out more about natural breast reconstruction and whether you or a loved one might be a good fit for this procedure, please watch this informational video.

In Her Own Words: Patti Ehrlickman

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The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction team is passionate about sharing stories of amazing people who devote themselves to the breast cancer cause.

Patti Ehrlickman, a nurse who saw the daily struggle breast cancer patients, had the idea to invent a device to make the quality of life after undergoing a mastectomy just a little bit easier.

The apron-like garment, Poucharoo, holds the multiple post-mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgical drains in place to eliminate the inconvenience of dangling drains and reduce the risk of injury.

Patti’s goal is to make the difficult recovery after break surgery more manageable and comfortable.

To see the impact she’s made on the recovery process for many patients, watch this video.

Poucharoo is a medical support device that is comprised of two pockets and three detachable belts. It comes with a Poucharoo tote bag, and is made of washable poly-cotton that is soft and breathable. This device is worn around the waist and supports 1-4 drains—without the use of safety pins.

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Not only does a portion of the profits go to FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Patti also takes the time to send a personal email to each woman.

We’re proud to share her story, her product, and her passion for helping women with breast cancer. 

For more information about Poucharoo, visit the website.

10 Important Breast Cancer Facts

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Because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we want to highlight the significance of this serious illness. Below you’ll find a list of 10 facts about breast cancer.

This post pairs well with our 10 Breast Cancer Fundraising Ideas post. If you want to raise money for awareness, the ideas we shared in that post will help get you started.

Now let’s go over these very important facts:

1. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The bright side of this is women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. How? With a mammogram — the best screening test to detect signs of breast cancer.

2. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

3. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. It is estimated that over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer every year.

4. Men get breast cancer, too. Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.

5. Breast cancer rates vary by ethnicity. Rates are highest in non-Hispanic white women, followed by African American women. They’re lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander women.

6. Genetics have a role in breast cancer. Breast cancer risk is approximately doubled among women who have one first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with the disease. On the other hand,more than 85 percent of women with breast cancer have no family history.

7. Breast cancer risk increases as you get older. Even though breast cancer can develop at any age, you’re at greater risk the older you get. For women 20 years of age, the rate is 1 in 1,760. At 30, it significantly jumps to 1 in 229. At 50, it’s 1 in 29.

8. It’s the most feared disease by women. Yet, breast cancer is not as harmful as heart disease, which kills 4 to 6 times the amount of woman than breast cancer.

9. The majority of breast lumps women discover are not cancer. But you should still visit your doctor anyway, even though 80% are benign.

10. There is so much HOPE! There are currently more than 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone — and this number continues to climb each year.

It’s important to understand the facts about breast cancer, and learn how you can support loved ones and friends who are suffering from this illness, or have been affected by it. To learn more about breast cancer, you can download a PDF about the last 2013-2014 breast cancer facts from cancer.org.

To learn more about our mission, our practice, and our team, start here and meet our doctors.