Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The FDA Just Approved a New Treatment That Reduces Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

It's already stressful to come to terms with a breast cancer diagnosis, but losing your hair during chemotherapy treatment can cause so much distress for any patient. Fortunately, there's now a device that women can use to regain some form of normalcy in their lives during treatment.

Last Tuesday, for the first time, the FDA approved a scalp cooling system, Dignitana DigniCap Cooling System, which reduces hair loss in female breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The cap, made by Swedish manufacturer, Dignitana Inc, is intended to reduce the frequency and severity of alopecia during chemotherapy. Operated by a computer-controlled system, the cap circulates cooled liquid to a cooling cap during chemo. A second cap is placed over the cooling cap, which holds it in place and serves as insulation to prevent the loss of coolness.

The FDA described the process in their release, saying, "The cooling action is intended to constrict blood vessels in the scalp, which, in theory, reduces the amount of chemotherapy that reaches cells in the hair follicles (hair roots). The cold also decreases the activity of the hair follicles, which slows down cell division and makes them less affected by chemotherapy. The combined actions are thought to reduce the effect chemotherapy has on the cells, which may reduce hair loss."

According to Dignitana, 7 out of 10 patients with early stage breast cancer kept at least 50 percent of their hair. For one clinical trial participant, Deanna King, none of her hair fell out.

"I had 100 percent success rate," King says. "I was very fortunate. I was on the right chemo regimen and my hair didn't fall out at all. Had my scalp not frozen, all of my hair would have fallen out."

For breast cancer patients, this was a way to regain control. King told, "I started doing research and what I wanted to do is try to have some control over my treatment plan. You know I wanted to be really proactive and advocate for myself."

Dr. Hope Rugo, principal investigator for the study and director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, explained that this cap can be used for different cancers as well. "It's not as if, for example, someone with an ovarian cancer can't use it. They could; it's just that the FDA gives specific approval to what you studied in your trial. But you can certainly use it and it's being used worldwide for other cancers. We don't recommend it for liquid tumors like leukemia because [tumor cells are] everywhere at once and it would be very hard for it to work."

There are currently different non-FDA approved cooling caps being used on the market, such as the Penguin Cooling Cap, which you have to freeze and change the cap every 30 minutes. The Penguin Cap, however, is manufactured with FDA-approved materials.

King was enthusiastic about the DigniCap specially since there was less room for human error, which would make the process ineffective. "It's a device where people who use cold caps have to have another person changing the caps all the time and making sure they're the right temperature, so there's a lot more room for error. It's much harder to do. Whereas this is an actual machine and all you have to do is just sit there."

The FDA noted that side effects included cold-induced headaches, neck and shoulder discomfort, and chills and pain associated with wearing the cap for a long period of time.

CBS News spoke to Dignitana's chief operating officer, Bill Cronin, who said that depending how many rounds of chemo a woman would goes through, the total cost of using the cap could be between $1,500 to $3,000.

Dignitiana is currently finalizing their agreements with major centers and community oncology groups across the country so DigniCaps will be available to patients as soon as possible.

Monday, December 28, 2015

With Winter Here, Many Kids Could Use Vitamin D Supplements


My 3-year-old drinks milk, but not very much of it, and that could be a problem for her.

We live in the Northeast, where the sun's rays are weaker. And now that the days are shorter, my kid arrives at day care a few hours after sunrise and leaves when it's dark. That all made me wonder whether she's getting enough vitamin D, and if not, what we should be doing about it.

Why should I, or anyone else, care about vitamin D? It's essential to building strong bones during childhood and adolescence. Children who are extremely low in the nutrient can develop rickets, which is characterized by soft, weak bones. Some research has tied low levels of vitamin D in active teen girls with higher rates of stress fractures. There have been a host of studies associating low vitamin D levels with other chronic diseases and ailments, but the Institute of Medicine, or IOM, says there's no direct evidence that low levels cause those problems.

It turns out that given my daughter's demographics, there's a good chance she's low on D. She hasn't been tested. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force last year recommended against routinely screening everyone for vitamin D deficiency, saying there isn't enough evidence to assess the benefits and harms. But there are some data to suggest that a significant percentage of children aren't meeting the floor of 20 nanograms of 25-hydroxyvitamin D per milliliter of blood serum that the IOM says is sufficient for most people to maintain bone health. Some medical groups argue for a higher bar of 30 ng/mL.

A study published in 2008 looked at infants and toddlers visiting a primary care clinic in Boston. Of the 380 kids studied, 12 percent had levels below 20 ng/mL, and 40 percent below 30 ng/mL. Research has shown that an even greater percentage of teens are deficient in vitamin D. That's likely because they drink less milk and spend less time playing outside than younger kids, says Deborah Mitchell, a pediatric endocrinologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

To maintain sufficient vitamin D levels in the blood, the IOM recommends taking in 400 international units, or IU, of vitamin D per day in the first 12 months of life and 600 IU for older kids. (The American Academy of Pediatrics supports those recommendations.)

But it can be hard to get that much D through diet alone. The vitamin occurs naturally in salmon, mackerel, sardines and shiitake mushrooms, none of which is high on my child's list of favorites. Fortified foods like milk, some yogurts, cheese, some cereals and orange juice are available, but still may not be enough. Each cup of fortified milk or orange juice, for example, contains 100 IU of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Indeed, on a clear day between the months of May and October, about five minutes of daily exposure is enough to spur lighter-skinned kids into making enough of the nutrient. Kids with darker skin tones need more sun exposure.

But most parents are told to slather their children in sunscreen every time they leave the house in order to prevent future skin cancers. And even if you do let your kid get a bit more sunshine, during the winter in the northern latitudes, it's not enough. "You could be naked all day in Minnesota or Seattle and you'd make no vitamin D. The sun is just too low in the sky," says Frank Greer, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and former chair of the AAP committee on nutrition.

Given all that, "it's probably not a bad idea for anyone, realistically," to take vitamin D supplements, says Mitchell. That doesn't mean that more is always better. The IOM's recommended upper limit of D consumption for children ranges from 1,000 IU for infants to 4,000 IU for teenagers and adults.

Children's multivitamins contain vitamin D, so if your kid or teen doesn't have any special health problems that prevent nutrient absorption and is already chomping a daily Flintstones, he's set. If you'd prefer to get a standalone vitamin D kid's supplement, it may be harder to find on drugstore shelves, but I found liquid, chewable and gummy options online.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Link found between gum disease, risk for breast cancer

Stephen Feller

Postmenopausal women with gum disease are more likely to develop breast cancer, and face increased risk if they have a history of smoking, according to a new study.

Previous research has linked periodontal disease to heart disease, stroke and diabetes -- as well as oral, esophageal, head, neck, pancreatic, and lung cancers -- inspiring researchers to investigate the potential link to breast cancer as well.

The effects of smoking on gum disease have been shown in several previous studies as well, researchers said, which led to expectations for smoking history to have an effect on the risk.

"If we can study periodontal disease and breast cancer in other populations, and if we can do more detailed study of the characteristics of the periodontal disease, it would help us understand if there is a relationship," said Dr. Jo Freudenheim, a professor at the University at Buffalo, in a press release. "There is still much to understand about the role, if any, of oral bacteria and breast cancer."

The researchers reviewed health records for 73,737 women without breast cancer who'd been followed as part of the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. Of the women, 26.1 percent had gum disease.

After a mean follow-up of 6.7 years, researchers found 2,124 were diagnosed with breast cancer. The researchers reported breast cancer risk was 14 percent higher among women with gum disease.

Women with gum disease who had never smoked, or quit smoking more than 20 years before the study, had a 6 and 8 percent higher risk of breast cancer. Women with gum disease who had quit smoking in the previous 20 years had a 36 percent higher risk of breast cancer, and women who were smoking at the time of the study had a 32 percent higher risk.

The researchers said the long-term influence of smoking, even if a person has quit, is well known because of changes to bacteria that have been seen in current and former smokers.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Holiday Hours

As 2015 comes to a close, we are reminded of how much we value our clients.  Thank you for allowing us to become a part of your life and trusting that the work we do will help to enrich your well being.

In order to ensure that our staff has a joyful holiday season, we have made some accommodations to our hours of operation.

December 21, 2015 to December 26, 2015

December 28, 2015 to January 2, 2016
Monday--9-5pm (no stylist this day)

Our team at Ricky Knowles Hair and Wellness wishes you a very happy and safe holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2015

8 Cooking Hacks to Make Holiday Baking Healthier

Marnie Soman Schwartz 

Christmas cookie (and cupcake, and doughnut, and pie...) season has officially begun. But the month-long treat-fest doesn't hav
e to mean the end of healthy eating. These kitchen hacks from chefs, nutritionists, and other foodies will help you pack more of the good stuff (protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals) into your baked goods, while helping you slash the fat and calories at the same time.

The best part: These healthy desserts all still taste delicious!

Add Black Beans to Your Brownies...and Zucchini to Your Blondies
Really! Get your chocolate fix—and extra fiber and protein—by adding beans to your brownies, like in this vegan, gluten-free recipe from Minimalist Baker. Another option: Zucchini makes these blondies from Chocolate Covered Katie moist and gooey without added fat.

Make 'Em Mini
Invest in a set of mini muffin tins (or doughnut trays) and you'll have built-in portion control, advises Keri Gans, R.D., a Shape advisory board member and the author of The Small Change Diet. Mini versions of your favorite holiday cookies are just as enjoyable as oversized ones...and they're cuter too!

Add Chia to Your Cookies
Chia seeds add fiber, omega-3s, potassium, iron, and calcium to your baked goods. The folks at Carrington Farms recommend adding 2 tablespoons of the seeds to your batter for every dozen cookies or muffins. (For more ideas, check out these Quick and Easy Chia Seed Recipes.)

Use Chickpea Flour
When you make baked goods from chickpea flour, you're getting fiber and protein from those beans, says nutritionist Ashley Koff, R.D. Since flour swaps can be tricky with baking, she seeks out recipes specifically designed for chickpea flour (try these other 8 New Types of Flour too) and makes sure to include plenty of health-boosting spices, like cinnamon (which helps with blood sugar control) and ginger (which is anti-inflammatory).

Make Coconut-y Cookies
At L.A., plant-based hotspot Gracias Madre, executive chef Chandra Gilbert uses coconut oil instead of butter in her Mexican wedding cookies. Make them yourself: Beat together 8 ounces coconut oil and 1/2 cup powdered sugar until well combined. Add 1 cup pecans, 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, and mix until fluffy. Use a scoop to form into balls and flatten them to a 1/2-inch thick. Refrigerate for 10 minutes and then bake for 20 minutes at 350°F, rotating halfway through. Cool on a wire rack.

Bake Pie Right Into the Apple
It doesn't feel like the holidays without pie, right? This year, skip the buttery crust, and put your apple filling right into the fruit, like in this Crustless Apple Pie recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Use Greek Cream Cheese Instead of Regular Cream Cheese
Whether you're baking a cheesecake or frosting cupcakes with a cheesecake icing, Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese, which is made from a combo of Greek yogurt and cream cheese, will halve the fat and increase the protein fourfold. Plus, it has good-for-you probiotics.

Add Pumpkin to Everything
Instead of swapping butter or oil for applesauce, try using pumpkin puree as a replacement instead, which has a creamier texture (and a pretty orange hue!), says New York-based nutritionist Jessica Cording, R.D.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Doing small acts of kindness may lower your stress


Those "Practice random acts of kindness" bumper stickers may be preaching more wisdom than we realized.

While performing small, kind gestures every day helps others, a new study by Yale and UCLA researchers suggests it may also diffuse our own stress, improving our mental health.

"The take-home message is that when we are stressed and we help others, we can also end up helping ourselves," study author Emily Ansell, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, told CBS News.

Lab-based studies have shown that giving to others can help people cope with stress and boost their positive emotions, said Ansell, but she and colleagues wanted to investigate whether the same holds true in the real world. They asked 77 adults, ranging in age from 18 to 44, to use a study-provided smartphone to report their daily feelings and experiences over a two-week period.

Every night, the participants received an automated phone reminder that prompted them to complete a daily assessment: to report any stressful life events they experienced that day at work or school or in their personal lives at home, including any financial problems or health issues. The total number of events was the measure of their daily stress level, said Ansell.

They were also asked to report whether they had engaged in various helpful behaviors, simple acts such as opening a door for someone else, helping a child with schoolwork, loaning money or an item of value to someone else (clothes, a car, or a tool, for example), or asking another person if they needed help that day.

The participants also completed a daily survey that measured their emotion, and they were asked to rate their mental health each day, rating it from 0 for poor to 100 for excellent.

Helping behaviors seemed to buffer the negative effects of stress on a person's well-being, the authors found. Those who reported performing more acts of kindness showed no dips in positive emotion or mental health. And they had lower increases in negative emotion in response to high daily stress.

"People overall did one or two acts of kindness per day, but what was most important was when they did more than one or two per day, we saw a benefit to their well-being," Ansell said.

People who reported lower-than-usual helping behaviors also reported lower positive emotion and higher negative emotion in response to high daily stress.

It was surprising how strong and uniform the effects were across daily experiences, said Ansell, whose research is published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Ansell plans additional research involving more ethnically and culturally diverse populations.

Another avenue for future study, she said, is to determine whether actively encouraging people to engage in more acts of kindness and helpfulness can improve mood and mental health.

"It may be particularly relevant for people dealing with a lot of stress who are at risk for depression relapse," she said.

Ansell said the findings are especially appropriate for this time of year, the season of giving.

"A lot of the time, we find that our daily stress goes up over the holiday season. We have a lot going on. There can be a lot of different social gatherings and things like that. So when you're out and about having a stressful day, think about doing one of these helpful things: help someone out at the store, hold a door or elevator," said Ansell. "It might help you feel a little better in terms of your own mood or stress this holiday season."

Friday, December 11, 2015

How exactly does obesity cause cancer? Three leading theories

‘Love handles’, ‘muffin top’, ‘beer belly’, ‘extra padding’, ‘cuddly bits’, ‘winter insulation’… We all have names for the squishy bits we keep meaning to lose – but apart from not fitting into our favourite jeans, carrying too much weight isn’t actually doing any harm, is it?

Unfortunately, it is. And we’ve written several posts about the link between being overweight or obese and several types of cancer (here’s the most recent).

But despite efforts to raise the profile of the link, public awareness remains stubbornly low – only around one in 10 people name being overweight as a factor when asked what things they think affect a person’s chance of developing cancer.

This is an urgent problem: the world is slowly drifting into an obesity crisis, with the condition already linked to nearly 500,000 cancer cases worldwide every year.

According to recent reports, public health experts predict that – shockingly – in the US obesity will soon overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer – and the UK might one day follow suit.

So it’s clear that those spare pounds aren’t a mere overflow car park for excess doughnuts.

But that raises a crucial question: how exactly does fat increase our risk of cancer?

While there are several plausible explanations, it’s an answer that researchers are still working hard to figure out. But first… just what is fat?

Fat isn’t just padding: it’s like another organ

Fat (also known as adipose tissue) has two main roles in the body.

Primarily it exists to store calories in the form of chemicals called lipids, which – when food was scarce would serve as a back-up energy store to keep us going. But nowadays many people consume more calories than they use up, leading to more of us becoming overweight or obese.

But the fat in your body also has a secondary function – it’s essentially a huge gland, sending out a constant stream of biological information and instructions that affect the rest of your body. This helps control processes like growth, metabolism and reproductive cycles.

But because of their ability to turn biological processes on and off, the signals produced by fat have a darker side when it comes to cancer.

This is especially true when people become overweight or obese – the point at which excess fat has a negative impact on health. Here are the three leading theories about how excess fat might lead to cancer, and the scientific evidence behind each one.

1. The oestrogen connection

One of the strongest links between obesity and cancer is an increased risk of breast and womb cancers in women who are overweight or obese after the menopause, and this relates to higher oestrogen levels.

In pre-menopausal women, the ovaries are the main oestrogen-producing cells. But fat cells can make oestrogen too and, after the menopause, when the ovaries stop working, fat becomes the chief source of the hormone. And there is solid evidence showing that being obese leads to higher oestrogen levels in women after the menopause.

Professor Martin Wiseman, a leading expert on diet, weight and cancer from the World Cancer Research Fund, is in no doubt that oestrogen made by fat cells is a leading culprit in postmenopausal breast and womb cancer.

“The evidence that oestrogen plays a central role in some cancers is black and white. Oestrogen makes certain cells – like breast and womb cells – divide, so too much oestrogen can encourage cells to keep dividing when they shouldn’t be. And uncontrolled cell division is fundamentally what cancer is.

“Large studies of women have shown a direct relationship between obesity, high oestrogen levels and breast and womb cancers”, he explains, “and understanding this relationship has been critical in developing effective treatments – like tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors – that work by cutting off oestrogen.

“Furthermore, if women at high risk of breast cancer are given oestrogen-blocking treatments, fewer go on to develop the disease. Cutting off oestrogen can stop breast cancer developing.”

While the link to women’s cancers is stronger, there’s also data suggesting that obesity-related changes in sex hormones can play a role in men’s cancers too. There’s evidence that, while rare, breast cancer in men is linked to increased oestrogen caused by excess body fat. Obesity is also linked to higher rates of aggressive prostate cancer, but it’s unclear if changes in oestrogen from fat cells play a role, or whether  it could be down to changes in testosterone, the male sex hormone.

2. Metabolic chaos

The chemical processes going on constantly throughout the body – collectively known as metabolism – are complicated and tightly controlled, relying on a finely tuned web of information flowing between cells and organs.

But the chemical signals produced by fat cells means that obesity can cause a major upset to this balance, and this is thought to be another way it makes cancer more likely.

One key hormone that acts as a master-controller of metabolism is insulin. It’s made by the pancreas and orchestrates how cells take up and process glucose from the blood.

But insulin’s instructions can be overridden by chemicals in your blood known as free fatty acids – the levels of which can be affected by eating a fatty meal, for example. This flips a switch in your liver and muscles, telling them to use this fat as fuel instead of glucose.

But it’s not just eating fatty food that increases free fatty acid levels in blood. Body fat, especially around the abdomen, can also release them – it’s the body’s way of using up fat stores. Excess body fat can lead to rising  levels of free fatty acids, leaving cells increasingly resistant to the effects of insulin and unable to take up glucose properly.

“This can cause all kinds of problems”, Wiseman tells us. “Cells become resistant to insulin, so the pancreas makes more to try and compensate and bring blood glucose levels back down”.

And these long-term raised insulin levels could be another way being obese raises the risk of cancer, he says.

“Higher amounts of insulin have a knock-on effect of re-programming the levels of growth factors available to cells, and both insulin and these growth factors can become a danger when it comes to cancer. Growth factors are a green light signal for cells to divide”.

There’s also substantial laboratory evidence of a link: lots of data showing that as cancer cells react to both insulin and insulin-related growth factors, they become harder to kill, and divide more quickly.

“Large studies of peoples’ blood chemistry have also shown links between high glucose (even at levels below those needed for a diagnosis of diabetes) and the risk of several types of cancer,” Wiseman tells us.

Taken together, the evidence that disturbances in metabolism lead to cancers is compelling.

The big question is the degree to which it plays a role in the increased rates of cancer in obese people – and studies are on-going to find this out.

3. Inflammation

As people become obese, and more fat cells build up in their tissues, specialised immune cells (called macrophages) are called to the scene, possibly to clear up dead and dying fat cells.

But as macrophages carry out their clean up job, they also release a potent cocktail of chemicals called cytokines that summon other cells to help them out. The number of macrophages in obese fatty tissue can be substantial – they can account for as many as four in 10 cells.

This ultimately creates a condition called chronic inflammation – and this is another way that obesity is thought to fuel the development of cancer. And it’s been shown that obese people tend to have higher levels of inflammatory cytokines in their blood.

We’ve written before about how inflammation can be a double-edged sword – while it’s an essential part of our immune defences, it can also aid and abet the growth and spread of cancer.

The evidence that inflammation is linked to cancer is damning. Many chronic inflammatory diseases (such as pancreatitis and Crohn’s disease) can increase a person’s risk of cancer. And cancers caused by infections are also characterised by chronic inflammation.

Wiseman explains “the result of inflammation is a cocktail of signals that tell cells to divide, because after injury you need new cells for healing to occur.

“But the signals encouraging cell growth for healing can also support cancer cells dividing. In fact if we look at the genes that are turned on and off in inflamed tissue, it’s very similar to genetic changes we see in cancer cells.

“There’s strong evidence that aspirin, a drug that reduces inflammation, prevents bowel cancer, or other anti-inflammatory drugs may also be beneficial when it comes to treating, and possibly preventing, other types of cancer.”

This doesn’t add up to concrete evidence of inflammation playing a role in cancer, but it certainly points a strong finger of accusation in its direction.

The long and short of it

There’s not a shadow of doubt that obesity is linked to cancer, but unravelling the biological reasons why is proving complicated.

Being obese affects lots of different aspects of our physiology – hormones, growth signals, and inflammation. It also affects different people in different ways; for example, not everyone who is obese will have abnormal metabolism or chronic inflammation.

To make matters more complicated still, oestrogen, insulin, and inflammation are a convoluted tapestry of interwoven threads. None of them in isolation directly causes cancer, but in obesity they knit together to form a lethal fabric – dampening the delicate systems that balance our bodies with disastrous consequences.

And while it’s not simple to understand how the threads weave into the overall picture, researchers know that there’s potentially an opportunity to treat, or even prevent, cancer by developing drugs that override signals made by fat cells. For example, both metformin (a diabetes drug that affects insulin levels) and aspirin (which dampens down inflammation) are under investigation as possible anti-cancer drugs.

We’ve focussed on cancer here, but of course that’s only part of the story. Obesity is a leading cause of death from other serious diseases too – diabetes, heart disease and stroke to name a few.

So we urgently need to tackle the obesity crisis head on. And you’ll be hearing more about how over the coming months. As more people become overweight or obese (many without even realising it), the number of people dying from related diseases is rocketing. It’s not something we can afford to ignore.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to Wash a Synthetic Wig - Expert Wig Tips

Ever wonder how to wash a synthetic hair wig? In this video, Ricky gives tips on proper water temperature, type of shampoo and drying techniques for taking care of a synthetic hair wig.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Marvel Comics is honoring influential women athletes and figures by turning them into superheroes.

What do you get when espnW IMPACT25 honorees Carli Lloyd, Lydia Ko, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey and Misty Copeland join forces with Ms. Marvel, The Black Widow, Thor, She-Hulk and Medusa? A #SUPERSQUAD, that's what. And below, see more original renderings as Marvel artists turned our illustrious list of 2015 Influencers and Athletes into super versions of themselves. ‪#‎CarliLloyd‬ ‪#‎girlpower‬ ‪#‎SimoneBiles‬

Thursday, December 3, 2015

16-year-old cancer survivor sings ‘Fight Song’

This interview with Ellen Degeneres and and amazing young lady who was only 15 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I guarantee you there won't be a dry eye in the house! Her story reminds us that ovarian cancer does not discriminate and can happen to girls and women at any age. ‪#‎OvarianCancer‬ ‪#‎Ellen‬

Kentucky Woman Undergoes Operation After Hair Tie Causes Dangerous Infection

A Kentucky woman is recovering after a hairband led to a serious infection that required surgery on Monday.

Dr. Amit Gupta, a hand surgeon at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, had to perform an operation on Audree Kopp after finding a large abscess over her wrist. Gupta said, he found bacteria in the wound that is usually consistent with bacteria found in the mouth.

"[Bacteria] got into that area and caused a localized infection," Gupta told ABC News, explaining that, he believes the bacteria on the hairband likely got into a small cut on her wrist. "This is very rare, in my 25 years of experience I’ve never seen this."

Kopp did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gupta said the infection spread quickly and that Kopp took oral antibiotics before arriving at the hospital for treatment.

"The amount of bacteria that she had, it can spread very rapidly," Gupta said. "Obviously she was getting to the point that if she had waited for a day or two," it could have been bad.

Gupta said Kopp will likely not have any lasting effects from the infection except for a scar where the infection was removed. He emphasized an infection from a hair-tie is extremely, extremely unlikely for most people, but that anyone with cut that looks infected should seek medical attention. Gupta said warning signs include, fever, red streaks near the wound, redness or swelling.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Bad hair day: How to avoid humidity frizz

Muggy weather not only leaves you feeling hot and sticky, for some of us it leaves us with ‘humidity frizz’.

Hot, humid weather means one thing for one’s barnet: humidity frizz. Here, Peter Lux, who works with celebrities including Kylie Minogue, Naomie Harris and Emma Watson, explains how to keep things smooth.

Avoiding frizz starts the moment you’ve washed your hair
Hair has lots of tiny strands coming off it and if you rub it dry, you ruffle the surface and that creates this frizz. Instead, squeeze out water with an absorbent towel.

Don’t use old-fashioned serums
Instead, use a serum containing natural oils). Go for one with a slightly more fluid texture so it’s not too heavy, and comb it through the hair when wet. This will build up a thin resistant coating that protects hair from the effects of humidity.

Don’t blast the hair with a hairdryer immediately
If you have long hair, swing it around to one side and hold the ends in one hand while you blow-dry the top, then do the same on the other side. Holding on to the hair means it can’t fly around and become frizzier. Once you have done that, move your hand further up the hair so you can blow-dry the ends.

After drying, apply an oil spray
This is a dry oil mist. It’s not greasy, but it creates a barrier that the weather can’t penetrate. An oil product is always a good idea with afro hair because it can be drier than caucasian hair.

The crown is where frizz is most noticeable so pay attention to it
Avoiding frizz is about keeping the hair in alignment. It’s usually only a small percentage of the hair, but it creates a halo and makes it look messy.

Invest in a natural-bristle hairbrush
Natural bristles are made of keratin, just like our hair, so they are much smoother than plastic or metal ones. Also, a natural-bristle brush doesn’t burn the hair like a metal one. It’s a miracle device.

If you put your hair up, it can’t unfollow the rules
If you’re going out in the evening after a day at work, try a rope braid. Divide the hair into two sections on the right and the left, and twist the hair in that direction each side, then wrap them around each other and secure it at the end with a hair band. When you take it out at the end of the day, you’ll have a soft wave but no chance of frizz because it’s been contained.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so thankful for our wonderful clients, dedicated staff and loving families! 

We will be closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday, resuming normal business hours on Saturday. 

We wish you a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Where Thanksgiving calories hide -- and how to burn them off!

When you sit down to a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the cards will be stacked against your diet. Those favorite dishes are just so high in calories -- hello, stuffing and sweet potato casserole! -- and there are just so many of them, it can seem impossible not to splurge.

But with the right planning and a serving of willpower, you can have a healthy (or healthier) Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ina Garten's Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast Recipe

Thinking about roasting a whole turkey can be intimidating for a first timer. Check out Ina Garten's recipe for a delicious herb-roasted turkey breast. It's also a lighter option to the star of your meal!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hair Replacement for Young Men

When most people think of balding men, they think of middle-aged men. But, a lot of men actually start experiencing thinning and balding at a younger age, some in their teenage years! Ricky Knowles has perfected his hair duplication craft and offers young men the opportunity to have a head full of hair again! Take a look at client, Stefan! He changes his hairstyle often to fit his mood, and looks quite dapper! Awesome work Ricky!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Q: Is it true that breast cancer survivors risk developing or worsening lymphedema if they do strength-training exercises with their arms?

A: Exercise, especially of the arms, used to be considered too risky for breast cancer survivors due to fears of lymphedema, which is an accumulation of lymph in the soft tissue with swelling. This condition is not usually life-threatening, but it can seriously impact quality of life, with decreased flexibility, difficulty fitting in clothes, feelings of heaviness and increased risk of recurrent skin infections. Yet lack of exercise can begin a cycle of physical decline with serious consequences; emerging research now suggests that the best course is safe exercise rather than no exercise.

Lymphedema, which can occur within days or years after cancer or its treatment, blocks flow in the lymph system that transports lymphocytes (white blood cells) and other infection-fighting cells throughout the body, resulting in swelling where the fluid accumulates. For breast cancer survivors, this tends to involve the arms and/or hands. As many as one in three women whose breast cancer surgery includes full removal of lymph nodes in the underarm area (axillary node dissection) experience lymphedema, and radiation therapy to the area may lead to its development, too.

Once lymphedema develops, it doesn’t go away, but some steps may make it easier to live with or possibly prevent it, according to the National Lymphedema Network. Avoid extreme exercise of the arm that could potentially be affected because it can promote inflammation or injury. Current studies in breast cancer survivors suggest that starting with low intensity upper-body exercise and progressing slowly does not increase onset of lymphedema and is better than no upper arm exercises as long as any sumptoms that develop are monitored closely and treated.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend that patients with or at risk for lymphedema be evaluated by a certified lymphedema therapist to ensure it is safe to exercise. Cancer survivors who have lymphedema should wear a garment know as a lymphedema sleeve during all exercise that uses the affected limb, according to the National Cancer Institute. Those without lymphedema do not need to wear this while doing exercise. If you are a survivor and it’s unclear whether you have lymphedema and what exercises to do, talk with your physician and health care team.

If you are going through cancer treatment and concerned about lymphedema or currently have lymphedema, contact our BOC/ABC certified compression garment fitter, Kristen Knowles at 713-623-4247 and schedule a free consultation.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How Much Hair Loss Is Normal?

About 50 to 100 hairs a day. And that number fluctuates throughout the year—it's higher in the autumn and lower in the summer. But if you notice a coin-shaped bald area (or areas) on your scalp, run to your dermatologist since that could be a signal of alopecia areata, a medical condition in which the immune system attacks hair follicles.

You should also see your doc if you're especially itchy or if your scalp is red, tender, bumpy, or flaking, since these signs could point to a scalp problem or an allergy. And if you suddenly notice a massive increase in the amount of hair falling out each day, and it doesn't slow down after a month, schedule an office visit.

Have questions about hair loss? We're here to answer them!
#hairloss #alopecia #shedding #femalehairloss #bald

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Breast Cancer Rates for Blacks Catch Up to Whites

Black women have long been more likely to die of breast cancer than white women, but this frightening statistic was once tempered a bit because black women were less likely than whites to get breast cancer in the first place.
No more. A new report from the American Cancer Society finds black women are just as likely to get breast cancer as their white neighbors, and they are 42 percent more likely to die of it.

"From 1989 to 2012, breast cancer death rates have decreased by 36 percent; and, as a result, 249,000 U.S. breast cancer deaths have been averted during this time period," the American Cancer Society's Carol DeSantis and colleagues write in their report.
"Widening racial disparities in breast cancer mortality are likely to continue, at least in the short term, in view of the increasing trends in breast cancer incidence rates in black women," DeSantis's team writes in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
"Although the overall breast cancer incidence rate is slightly lower in black women than in white women, the breast cancer death rate is 42 percent higher in blacks than in whites."
A combination of factors is likely to blame. Black women are often diagnosed when their breast cancer is at a later stage; they are more likely to be obese and to have other conditions, such as diabetes; they're more likely to get aggressive and hard-to-treat tumors; they're less likely to have access to good health care; and they're less likely to be offered, and to accept, the best treatment options.
Several studies offer clues — there may be genetic differences, there may be disparities in getting medical care, and black women may simply avoid doctors more. A 2013 study found black women were often sicker to start with, suffering other conditions besides breast cancer.
"Black women are also disproportionately diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancers," DeSantis's group wrote. This type of tumor is very difficult to treat.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 25 in every 100,000 white women die of breast cancer. Nearly 34 in every 100,000 African-American women die of breast cancer. Just 16 out 100,000 Hispanic and American Indian women die of breast cancer.
This week's study finds similar patterns. Hispanic women may have lower breast cancer rates, DeSantis and colleagues said, because they have children at younger ages and have more children than women from other ethnic groups. Having children younger protects from breast cancer, as does breastfeeding those children.
"About 12 percent of women in the U.S. (or 1 in 8) will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime," the researchers wrote.
"This lifetime risk represents an average of the risks of different women, rather than the risk of any one woman. Lifetime risk includes the possibility that women will die from other causes before being diagnosed with breast cancer and is often misinterpreted to apply only to women who live to very old ages."
What can women do?
"The World Cancer Research Fund International estimates that one third of breast cancers could be prevented through healthy behaviors, including maintaining a healthy body weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and not drinking alcohol," the researchers noted.
"There is growing evidence that high levels of fruit and vegetable consumption may reduce the risk of hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer." That's the kind that cannot be treated with the most common hormone-based drugs, including tamoxifen and Herceptin.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

New breast cancer guidelines: screen later, less often

(CNN) In a move sure to befuddle women -- and anger some breast cancer survivors -- the American Cancer Society has issued new guidelines saying less screening for breast cancer is better than more.
The venerated cancer organization says women should start getting mammograms at 45 instead of 40, and that everyone can skip the routine manual breast checks by doctors.
    An exhaustive review of the medical literature shows these measures just aren't very effective, according to the group. "The chance that you're going to find a cancer and save a life is actually very small," said Dr. Otis Brawley, the society's chief medical officer.
    Now three key groups -- the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Cancer Society, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force -- recommend different ages for starting regular mammograms: 40, 45 and 50 respectively.
    While mammograms save lives, they can also cause harm, and each group does a different job of balancing the pros and cons.

    Earlier testing is not necessarily better

    The problem with mammograms is that they have a relatively high false positive rate, which means women sometimes have to undergo painful and time-consuming tests only to find out they never had cancer in the first place.
    The chances of false positives are especially high for women under 45, as they have denser breasts and tumors are harder to spot on an image. "If she starts screening at age 40, she increases the risk that she'll need a breast cancer biopsy that turns out with the doctor saying 'You don't have cancer, so sorry we put you through all this,'" Brawley said.
    He said he knows women who've had false positives year after year. "False positives are a huge deal," he said. "These women are so frightened and inconvenienced they swear off mammography for the rest of their lives."
    Six years ago, the federal government's Preventive Services Task Force caused a furor when it declared that women in their 40s didn't need to get routine mammograms. Younger women whose breast cancers were caught by mammograms angrily responded that they would have been dead if they'd followed that guideline.
    They said they'd gladly risk a false positive, with all the inconvenient and sometimes painful followup, for the chance of finding a cancer.
    Learning from that experience, the American Cancer Society has sought to soften its message, emphasizing that women in their early 40s should still be able to get mammograms if they want them, as long as they understand the risks.
    There's the risk of a false positive, plus the risk that a mammogram could catch a very small breast cancer that will go away on its own, or never progress to the point that it hurts a woman. In other words, a mammogram could catch a tumor that isn't really worth catching.
    But since doctors can't reliably discern the harmful from the harmless cancers, they treat them all. This means some women are getting potentially harmful treatments, such as radiation, chemotherapy and surgery, when their tumor would never have caused a problem, Brawley says.
    A Canadian study looked at 44,925 women who were screened for breast cancer, and 106 of them fell into this category and were treated for breast cancer "unnecessarily," according to a review in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    New guidelines have their critics

    While agreeing with the American Cancer Society that mammograms aren't perfect, some advocates for women criticized the group's new guidelines. First, they said the society looked mostly at studies of film mammography, which in the United States has almost been entirely replaced by digital mammography.
    Digital mammograms generate clearer images and do a better job of finding cancer and have a lower false positive rate.
    "It's like standard versus HD TV," said Dr. Therese Bevers, the chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's guidelines panel for breast cancer screening and diagnosis, and the medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.
    Second, critics said the cancer society looked only at whether screening saved a woman's life, and not at whether screening caught a cancer early, so the woman could avoid the most drastic treatments, such as chemotherapy or mastectomy.
    "The American Cancer Society made the value judgment that screening is only worth it if improves survival," said Dr. Marisa Weiss, a breast cancer survivor and president of "There's an arrogance to that. Let women decide what's meaningful to them."

    Insurance companies also decide

    The new guidelines also state that women over age 55 can choose to get a mammogram every other year, since breast cancers in post-menopausal women tend to develop more slowly.
    To a great extent it will be insurance companies that decide at what age women get mammograms. In 2009, they typically continued to pay for mammograms starting at age 40 even though the government's task for force recommended mammograms starting at age 50.
    But it's not clear what they'll do now that the American Cancer Society has also raised the age for mammograms.
    "(Insurance) plans will certainly take these updated recommendations into account when evaluating their coverage policies," Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America's Health Insurance Plans, wrote to CNN in an email.
    The new guidelines are meant for women at average risk of breast cancer. The society says women with a family history or who carry a gene that predisposes them to breast cancer may need to start screening earlier and more frequently.
    As for the recommendation to discontinue routine manual breast exams by doctors, many advocates for women with breast cancer agree there's a lack of good evidence that they save lives, but some said they saw no reason to get rid of them.
    "It's a free and added way of knowing whether or not a lump is there," said Leigh Hurst, founder of the Feel Your Boobies Foundation.
    In the end, with so many different opinions on preventing breast cancer, experts are worried women will throw up their hands.
    "Our biggest concern is that this will create a lot of potential havoc in the day-to-day practice of caring for women," said Dr. Christopher Zahn, the vice president of practice activities for ACOG.

    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    Win A Free Custom Compression Sleeve, Gauntlet and Glove

    In recognition of ‪#‎BreastCancerAwareness‬ month, we are offering a give away! The lucky winner will receive a custom made compression sleeve, gauntlet and glove in pink, of course!
    All you have to do to enter is like this post! We'll draw and announce the winner at the end of the month! Good luck!

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    Black Women More Likely to Get Wrong Breast Cancer Care, Study Confirms


    Black women are much more likely to get the wrong treatment for breast cancer, be diagnosed later and have bigger tumors than white women, researchers reported Tuesday.
    It's the largest study yet to look at the disparities in breast cancer treatment in the U.S., and it confirms what many other studies have found — that African-American women are prone to a nastier type of breast cancer, and that they don't get the same standard of care as white women.
    Native American women also appear to be at higher risk of more aggressive cancer, the study found — and they also tend to get poor care.
    "We found that there is a consistent pattern of late diagnosis and not receiving recommended treatment for some racial and ethnic groups across all breast cancer subtypes," said Lu Chen of the at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who led the study.
    Her team looked at data on more than 100,000 American women listed in a National Cancer Institute cancer registry.
    "Women in several racial/ethnic groups are more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced stage breast cancer," they wrote in their report, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
    "African-American and American Indian/Alaska Native women in particular had the highest risk of being diagnosed with stage IV triple-negative breast cancer," they added. Black women had a 40 percent to 70 percent higher risk of having stage IV cancer - which has spread through the body and which can no longer be eradicated -than whites.
    Native American women where nearly four times as likely to have stage IV triple-negative cancer, a particularly hard-to-treat type.
    And black and Hispanic women were 30 percent to 40 percent more likely than whites to get the wrong treatment for their cancer type, the team found. There are several subtypes of cancer and now there are tailored therapies for certain types.
    It's long been known that black women are far more likely to die of their breast cancer than white women. Studies have offered all sorts of clues — there may begenetic differences, there may be disparities in getting medical care, black women may get inferior treatment, and black women may simply avoid doctors more.
    A 2013 study found black women were often sicker to start with, suffering other conditions besides breast cancer.
    According to the National Cancer Institute, 25 in every 100,000 white women die of breast cancer. Nearly 34 in every 100,000 black women die of breast cancer. Just 16 out 100,000 Hispanic and American Indian women die of breast cancer.