Are You Aware?

Directly or indirectly, breast cancer affects all of us and that is why October has been designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

There are many events you can participate in this month and many institutes accept donations to help fund the necessary research needed to find a cure for breast cancer, but the Pros wanted to do our part and write a very special post dedicated to our Granny June, who passed away from breast cancer and other medical complications many years ago! We have faith that a cure for this disease is in our future and it starts with proper education.

According to the National Cancer Institute, having a high-quality mammography is the most effective tool currently available for breast cancer screening. A digital mammogram records x-ray images in computer code instead of x-ray film. The images can be enhanced by lightening or darkening and enlarged so radiologists can take a closer look. Plus, images can be stored and retrieved electronically so that doctors can easily consult with other specialists.

I hope that if you are reading this blog and if you are 40 or over or if you have a history of breast cancer in your family that you are having an annual digital mammogram! Since breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death amongst women in the United States, it is imperative you consult with your doctor immediately if you detect a lump or other symptoms which may include: thickening in or near the breast or underarm, nipple tenderness, itchy or scaly areola, discharge (fluid) from the nipple.

Currently, there are over 2 million breast cancer survivors, but let us be perfectly clear when we say that this disease does not discriminate. This cancer does not care how many times you go to the gym in a week, how wealthy you are or if you are famous or not. What it does care about is that you seek treatment immediately and lower the risk for our future generations!

You have to be brave enough to stand up to this cancer and if you think you are alone, think again! We have listed a few famous breast cancer survivors below who were not afraid to battle this disease head on:

Edie Falco, Melissa Etheridge, Gloria Steinem, Olivia Newton John, Jaclyn Smith, Suzanne Somers, Christina Applegate, Kylie Minogue, Cynthia Nixon, Robin Roberts, Sheryl Crow, Anastacia, Carly Simon, Betsey Johnson and Sandra Day O'Connor.

We all want to find a cure for breast cancer, but I love how Glamour Magazine recently stated in their current issue, “wouldn’t it be even more exciting if we knew how to never get the disease in the first place?”

Glamour reports that Dr. Susan Love of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is working on a breakthrough concept of “understanding what makes the environment around your breast cells (and other cells) toxic or healthy – it is called epigenetics.” Dr. Love also states, “through epigenetics, we’re going to know a heck of a lot more about how to prevent breast cancer!”

The Glamour article also lists some great tips on How to Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk by 25% - they include the following:

1. Exercise – lowers your odds of the disease. The American Cancer Society advises women to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.

2. Watch What You Drink“alcohol is a double-edge sword, it has been linked to lower risk of heart disease but an increased risk of breast cancer,” says JoAnn E. Manson, M.D.

3. Know Your Own Breasts – we now know that teaching women how to do a monthly breast self-exam (BSE) does not lower the risk of dying from breast cancer, but it lowers anxiety and follow-up tests like biopsies. What a BSE does do is make women feel comfortable in examining their own bodies and bringing possible issues to a doctor’s attention more rapidly. Most women do find their own cancer lumps and it is usually accidental.

4. Make Smart Reproductive Health Choices“too much estrogen probably plays a greater role in the development of breast cancer than anything else,” according to Dr. Coyle. Here are three well-documented risk factors: starting your period before age 12, reaching menopause after 55 and having your first child after 30. Those all steep breast cells in estrogen for a longer-than-average amount of time. Here is how to lower your risk: breast-feeding and if possible, time your pregnancy by having your first baby in your twenties. As for the pill – this oral contraceptive does slightly increase your risk, but pill users under 40 shouldn’t panic. Risk of developing breast cancer in your 20's or 30's is very low. Older women who need to be on some type of contraceptive may want to steer toward an IUD if possible.

5. Get More Vitamin D – no diet has been proven to lower your risk of breast cancer, but a growing number of studies point to Vitamin D as especially beneficial with a possible 35% lower risk factor.

The Pros here at IMPO like to “think pink” in October and support breast cancer programs all year around and that is why we were excited to support The Estee Lauder Companies, which is dedicated to raising awareness that early detection of breast cancer saves lives.

In 1993, Evelyn H. Lauder founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as an independent, not-for-profit organization, which funds clinical and translations research worldwide by donating proceeds from the sale of selected products from The Estee Lauder Companies.

Here is a list of participating brands that support The Breast Cancer Research Foundation:

Aramis, Aveda, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Bumble and bumble, Clinique, Darphin, Donna Karan Cosmetics, Estee Lauder, Jo Malone, Lab Series Skincare for Men, La Mer, Michael Kors Beauty, Ojon, Origins, Prescriptives, Sean John Fragrances and Tommy Hilfiger Toiletries.

Recently, this Pro received a gratis product from The Estee Lauder Companies in order to help promote their plight of raising breast cancer awareness. I was sent Ojon’s Revitalizing Mist to use personally and on my clients.

This product is a weightless, pre-styling, leave-in conditioner that detangles, refreshes and preps hair for styling and it allows for a more even application of styling products.

This Pro used the Ojon Revitalizing Mist on several clients at a recent video shoot by applying it on hair that was not freshly washed as a “pick me up.” It helped alleviate product build-up and prepared the hair to readily accept all other styling product such as serum, hair spray and paste. The mist also helped manage “fly-aways” without weighing the hair down and it helped prevent the hair from looking “greasy!”

During the month of October, Ojon will donate 20% from the sale of this product to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (up to a maximum of $35,000). Available at Sephora, Ulta and online at


This Pro hopes that all our readers take extra special care of themselves this month (and all year long) and to help lighten the mood around here, I am posting a great video from Aerosmith!

It doesn't benefit the awareness of breast cancer, but it is titled "Pink" - maybe Steven Tyler and the gang could donate an amount for every "click" this video gets from IMPO! I am sure Aerosmith is all about "saving the ta-tas!" Hey! Yo! Steven...we need to talk! So blast your volume and dance around to this great video (it will help with your 30 minutes of exercise)!


It's that time of year! Halloween! Up next on IMPO: incredible how-to videos to get you into the spirit!

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