Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fight Breast Cancer with Food

Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage . . . these veggies aren’t at the top of many people’s favorite foods lists. Many children hate them, most adults aren’t fans, and some people find that these foods have an unpleasant odor and bitter flavor. But because these types of vegetables, known as cruciferous vegetables, are so good for your health—and can play an important role in fighting breast cancer—they are worth a second chance.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D., a physician and New York Times best-selling author who is a renowned expert in nutrition, writes on his website that “Eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is your best defense for fighting and preventing cancer.” Why? Fuhrman’s studies have demonstrated that cruciferous vegetables are twice as effective as other vegetables, beans, and fruits at reducing cancer rates.

According to the National Cancer Institute, the substances that give cruciferous veggies their sulfur scent and sometimes bitter taste are plant compounds known as glucosinolates, which are a current focus of anticancer research. Glucosinolates have been effective at treating cancer in animal and cellular studies, and current research is looking at their effectiveness in treating cancer in humans. Cruciferous veggies are also high in other key nutrients:
•vitamins C, E, and K
•beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, known as carotenoids

In addition to broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, the cruciferous vegetable family includes salad superstars arugula, radishes, and watercress; dark leafy greens like kale, collards, and mustard greens; zingy, flavorful horseradish and wasabi; and root vegetables such as turnips, rutabagas, and kohlrabi.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Walk to Support Breast Cancer Awareness!

Join us for a day of fun for the whole family as we attend the Fifth Annual "Celebrate Your Princess" Breast Cancer Awareness Walk in Fulshear, TX on Saturday October 26th!

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), an estimated 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year. Today there are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States. Early detection and prevention are critical. Celebrate Your Princess benefits the CHRISTUS St. Catherine Breast Cancer Awareness Fund, promoting community outreach, health, wellness and education.

We will be showcasing our latest and greatest hair loss, mastectomy and lymphedema solutions and will be available to answer any questions about our products and services.

Join us:

Saturday, October 26, 2013 @ 7:30 AM
Cross Creek Ranch
6450 Cross Creek Bend Lane
Fulshear , TX 77441

You can still sign up for the walk online, or registration is available the day of the walk at the event.

Walk for the cause, enjoy music and food while the kids play in the kid's zone bounce house, decorate pumpkins and much more!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tips For Lymphedema Skin Care

The treatment of lymphedema often focuses on controlling the swelling and on avoiding further injury to lymph vessels. This is why many patients with lymphedema know about lymphedema pumps and about the need to avoid tight clothing and compression, such as blood pressure cuffs. But excellent skin care is also an important part of lymphedema treatment. The central reason skin care is important in lymphedema is to avoid infection.

The following are several useful tips that can help lymphedema patients take better care of their skin: Use a moisturizer – Daily use of a moisturizing lotion is very important in keeping the skin elastic and healthy. We usually recommend that lymphedema patients use lotion twice a day all around the affected limb. Avoid using lotion between the toes because that could promote a fungal infection (“athlete’s foot”). Examples of moisturizing creams are Amlactin and Eucerin.

Avoid injury – The main hazard with lymphedema is skin infection. Skin injury is a way for infection to enter the body. Avoiding injury means avoiding infection. Sources of injury are all around. A common example is shaving your legs with a razor. Patients with lymphedema should use an electric mechanism.

Think about toenail hygiene – As can be seen in the picture patients with leg lymphedema may have nail changes. The toenails may thicken. Having a podiatrist take care of your toes can help you avoid much grief from accidental injury. Remember – avoid injury!

Examine your feet every day – Most people do not look at their feet. At least not every day. But foot examination can be critical in lymphedema patients. By examining your feet or having someone examine your feet every day you will find problems very early as they come and avoid severe problems from developing.

If you have questions about skin care for your lymphedema, call the Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness team at 713-623-4247, and speak with our BOC/ABC certified custom garment fitter, or one of our certified lymphedema massage therapists. We would be happy to help you find answers to your important questions!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Chemotherapy and Hair Loss

What is hair loss and how is chemotherapy related?
  • Believe it or not, hair loss (alopecia) due to chemotherapy is one of the most distressing side effects of chemo treatments.  
  • Hair loss happens because the chemotherapy affects all cells in the body, not just the cancer cells.  The lining of the mouth, stomach, and the hair follicles are especially sensitive because those cells multiply rapidly just like the cancer cells. The difference is that the normal cells will repair themselves, making these side effects temporary. 
  • Hair loss does not occur with all chemotherapy.  Whether or not your hair remains as it is, thins or falls out, depends on the drugs and dosages.  
  • Hair loss may occur as early as the second or third week after the first cycle of chemotherapy, although it may not happen until after the second cycle of chemotherapy.  
  • Hair loss can be sudden or slow.  
  • You may lose all of your hair or just some of it.  
  • Often it comes out in clumps rather than an even pattern.  
  • It is common for hair loss to include hair that grows anywhere including eyelashes, eyebrows, and even pubic hair.

In almost all cases of chemotherapy-induced hair loss, your hair will resume growth after treatments.  
  • It may take from three to six months after therapy is completed or it may start growing back while you are still receiving chemotherapy.  Be prepared for your "new" hair to possibly have a slightly different color, texture, or curl.

Can you prevent hair loss during chemo treatments?
  • Through the years, attempts have been made to reduce hair loss by using tight bands or ice caps.  While these techniques may reduce hair loss by reducing blood flow to the scalp and limiting chemotherapy exposure to hair follicles, there is a theoretical concern that this could reduce the effectiveness of treatment in that area. 

What can be done to manage hair loss due to chemotherapy?

Our dedicated RNHW team will help guide you through your hair loss by:

  • educating you about the effects of chemotherapy and when to expect hair loss to occur 
  • verifying and billing your insurance 
  • assisting you in choosing the right cranial prosthesis for your lifestyle prepping your new hair for delivery serving as your extended support system throughout the whole process.

When a client is faced chemotherapy hair loss, we ask them to immediately come in with their cranial prosthesis prescription before chemotherapy treatment begins, for a complimentary consultation.  During this consultation we will discuss all of your options to help you stay confident during your temporary hair loss.

We will then educate you about the different types of wigs (human hair wigs and synthetic hair wigs) and help you decide what hair loss solution will work best for you to give you the most realistic duplication of your natural hair.

All of our consultation rooms are private and are equipped with the best salon hair styling equipment available.  A team member will explain the process of when hair loss will begin and most importantly when your natural hair will regrow.

At RNHW, we carry an extensive line of human hair and synthetic wigs and hairpieces for your chemotherapy hair loss solutions.  We also have many turbans, scarves and hats in stock to suit your fashion style.  Do you have questions?  Call a RNHW  team member, or schedule a free consultation at 713-623-4247.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Extensiveness of breast cancer surgery linked to risk of lymphedema

Breast cancer survivors who have extensive surgery are four times more likely to develop arm lymphedema. According to a new study, the extensiveness of surgery to treat breast cancer proportionately increases the risk of developing the debilitating disorder.

According to the lead author, Tracey DiSipio, PhD, from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, women who had undergone an axillary lymph node dissection, which is an invasive surgery to remove lymph nodes under the arm, were four times more likely to experience swollen or disfigured arms compared with women who had received a sentinel lymph node biopsy. The study was published in The Lancet Oncology.

"Arm lymphedema is typically characterized by swelling in one or both arms, causing pain, heaviness, tightness, and a decreased range of motion," DiSipio said. "The appearance of the swollen or disfigured arms provides an ever-present reminder of breast cancer and often contributes to anxiety, depression, and emotional distress in affected women."

DiSipio said the study, a systematic review of the incidence of arm lymphedema after breast cancer, also found that the condition is diagnosed in one in five women (21.4%). She explained, "This is a significant research finding and provides us with the most accurate incidence rate to date. Until now the incidence rate has been reported as anywhere from 0% to 94%. With this information we can explore whether lymphedema rates differ between breast cancer survivors."

The study also pinpointed a number of risk factors linked to arm lymphedema. Risk increased with a lack of regular physical activity and with a high body mass index. DiSipio said, "These factors are potential targets for future prevention strategies or for more effective management of the disorder."

DiSipio said the results of the study added weight to calls to integrate prospective surveillance of arm lymphedema into standard breast cancer care.

"Currently there are no standardized practices when it comes to detection and treatment of arm lymphedema," she said. "Given most patients present with the arm lymphedema within the first 2 years after breast cancer, more frequent surveillance throughout this time is recommended."

If you or a loved one is undergoing breast cancer treatment, call 713-623-4247 to schedule a free consultation with our ABC/BOC certified compression garment and mastectomy prosthesis fitter.  Kristen and our team will develop a customized approach to helping you maintain your mobility and comfort during and after your cancer treatment.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Look Good, Feel Better!

Our world-renowned hair stylist and cosmetologist, Ricky Knowles, will be teaching women undergoing cancer treatment tips and beauty techniques to manage the effects of chemotherapy and radiation on October 14th at MD Anderson - Clear Lake and on October 16th at Memorial Hermann - The Medical Center.

The Look Good...Feel Better program is offered in partnership with the American Cancer Society and is free of charge.

Ricky will teach attendees make up enhancement techniques, educate women about wigs, hairpieces and skin care and show them how to wear head scarves and turbans.  The presentation will be hands-on with plenty of time for questions.  Each woman gets a free makeup kit to use during and after the workshop.

If you or a loved one is undergoing cancer treatment, register for the free seminar and get an opportunity to visit one-on-one with Ricky and learn his secrets to Looking Good, and Feeling Better! For more information, or to register for one of these events, call the American Cancer Society Houston Office at (713) 266-2877.

Early Detection & Breast Health Tips

1. Early Breast Cancer Detection – Experts recommend women get to know their own bodies: report any changes in your breast to your medical provider right away and talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer and when to be screened. Medical experts also recommend:

  • Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year 
  • Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of their periodic health exam by a health professional, preferably every three years 
  • Breast self exam: Experts now recommend that women get to know their own bodies and watch for any changes. BSE is an option for women starting in their 20s. You should report any changes in your breast health to your doctor right away. 

2. Reduce Your Risk – Here are some suggestions to help reduce your risk of breast cancer:

  • Examine your family history – Your risk is increased if a family member has had breast cancer, especially if a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) is diagnosed before the age of 50. Speak with a nurse, doctor or your medical provider about your breast cancer risk and additional steps you can take to reduce your risk. 
  • Get some exercise– Brisk walking for one hour a day can your reduce risk by more than 15%. The American Cancer Society recommends you engage in at least 45 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days a week. 
  • Minimize radiation exposure – The human breast is sensitive to radiation, especially if exposure occurs at young ages. Girls repeatedly exposed to radiation before the age of 20 are at highest risk for developing breast cancer later in life. 
  • Modify alcohol intake – Regular consumption of one drink a day for women is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. 
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke – Tobacco smoke is a known human carcinogen and is an established risk factor for lung cancer. Exposure to smoking and secondhand smoke should be avoided, particularly during childhood, puberty, pregnancy and when breast feeding. 
  • Avoid exposures to exogenous estrogens 
    • Hormone replacement therapy – Use only if absolutely necessary; use for as short a time as possible, and discuss alternatives with your doctor. 
    • Hormonally active environmental chemicals – Some studies suggest chemicals in our homes, water and environment may play a role in cancer development. 
  • Maintain leanness or reduce weight – The relationship between being overweight and breast cancer risk is one of the best understood to date. It is known that women who gain more than 20 pounds from age 18 to midlife double their risk of breast cancer (postmenopausal) compared to women whose weight remains stable. 

3. Lymphedema – Lymphedema is a chronic, debilitating disorder following cancer treatment that can cause arm swelling and chronic inflammation. There are new advances and recommendations for women diagnosed with breast cancer:

  • Newly diagnosed women should ask their doctor for a perometry screen or BIS (bioimpedance spectroscopy) screen before they have breast cancer surgery and at regular follow-up visits. Survivors who have already undergone surgery should ask their doctor if BIS or perometry might be helpful in their ongoing care. 
  • Exercise and weight training have been shown to help reduce the risk of lymphedema and to reduce the severity of the disorder in already affected patients. Women should discuss exercise and weight-lifting regimens with their doctor or a well-trained or certified lymphedema therapist. 

4. Nutrition – Nutrition plays an important role in your health.

5. Know Your Resources –Don't overlook your own breast health. Survival rates increase dramatically in women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer early. If you are living in a low-income household, or are underinsured or uninsured, there are many resources available, regardless of your ability to pay, that can help you seek out the proper breast care:

  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers an online search tool for women to seek out free and low-cost screenings across the country. 
  • For information on breast cancer and tools to help you seek out medical care, visit the American Cancer Society's website at www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/index

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Trichotillomania - Spotlight on Ricky Knowles Hair & Wellness Client: Emily Simmons

At the age of eight, Emily Simmons began pulling out her hair. What started with just one or two hairs at a time turned into whole patches of hair being removed from her head. Her journey over the past six years has led her to become one of the foremost young spokespeople for trich sufferers, even appearing in MTV's True Life.

Through psychotherapy, distraction strategies, support groups and the dedication our Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness team, Emily's hair has grown out and we are so proud of her significant progress and continue to be a part of her ongoing treatment.

Below is a video of Emily describing her experience with the RNHW team:

Our goal at RNHW is to help give our trich clients the self confidence they need to overcome the disease. We use all types of hair replacement options including: wigs, hair pieces, hair extensions, clip-ons, micro links and bonding. Each trich solution is tailored to the individual client and we use creative techniques to arm our trich clients with the courage to conquer the world.

Since often trich sufferers have not visited a hair stylist in years, our salon is open to anyone with trich whether you want hair replacement or just want a cut, color or style. All of our consultation rooms are private. If you or a loved one suffers from Trich and have questions or want to schedule an appointment to discuss options, call 713-623-4247.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October 1-7 is National Trichotillomania Awareness Week

Did you know that over 100 million women worldwide feel the urge to pull their hair out?
A shocking three percent of the world's population will suffer from Trichotillomania (TTM) at some point in their lives but the vast majority of us have never heard of it.

TTM Facts:
110 million people suffer from TTM worldwide
Less than 10% of women seek treatment
It is more common in females
50% report pulling is worse when under stress

So why do so many feel the need to pull out their hair?
The majority of TTM sufferers pull to serve as a coping mechanism for anxiety and other difficult emotions, and it is often done sub-consciously. What starts as a small habit can escalate dramatically and can sometimes result in complete loss of hair.

If you suffer from TTM and need help now then please call the Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness Team at 713-623-4247. Our team is has created a safe and comfortable environment to assist you in your path to recovery.

All of our consultation rooms are private and equipped with the most advanced hair styling, duplication and replacement tools available. And our world-renowned hair duplication stylist, Ricky Knowles has been recognized as an advocate by the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc.

We strive to be a part of your recovery, working in tandem with you to boost your confidence and help you reach your goal to stop hair pulling.  We will tailor a hair duplication plan to enable you to cover bald spots while your new hair grows out.  Our trich hair replacement process allows our clients to take the steps necessary to return to a normal, confident life.

Have Questions about Trich? Email Ricky at ricky@hairandwellness.com.