Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Throughout October, many unite in efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer. Breast cancer is a disease where one in eight women will be diagnosed within their lifetime. According to the World Health Organization, 1.38 million new cases of breast cancer occur each year. By far, breast cancer is most commonly found in women.
Someone who knows first-hand the struggles of breast cancer is our very own, Dr. Regina Flippin.
Regina Flippin’s Story
In September 2010, Dr. Flippin was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer – a type of breast cancer considered more aggressive than others.
From a self-breast examination, Dr. Flippin noticed a lump in her breast. She soon contacted her OBGYN to schedule a mammogram where a lump appeared on ultrasound. After a biopsy, the news was not good. Not only did she have breast cancer, but she also had one of the most aggressive types – stage 2 triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). She was in for the fight of her life.
TNBC can be found on most breast cancer tumors, making it difficult to treat. It lacks three common proteins – estrogen, progesterone, and HER/2. So, TNBC does not respond to hormonal therapy medicines or medicines specifically targeting HER2 protein receptors, leaving doctors with fewer options for targeted treatments to these cancer cells.
After five months of chemotherapy, Flippin chose to have bilateral mastectomies due to TNBC having a recurrence rate three times higher than other breast cancers. Since her diagnosis, Dr. Flippin has been cancer-free for ten years. Her words of wisdom are to face the disease head-on with positivity, courage, and optimism.
Fighting breast cancer became Dr. Flippin’s mission due to the disparity that exists with the disease. TNBC is three times more likely to occur in young African American women or women of color before age 40. Raising awareness, funding education, and providing greater access to quality care for women, specifically those who lack the necessary choices to do so, was essential. Dr. Flippin founded Flippin to a Cure, a non-profit foundation with a mission to advance education and address the disparity of care to women in underserved and under-represented communities.
Dr. Flippin is committed in her mission to help women going through breast cancer treatments so that they only have to focus on the job of healing.
Curious to see how Dr. Flippin and UZURI are celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness month? Here are 6 meaningful ways you can celebrate with us.
1. Being Aware of Side Effects
You may notice some changes to your skin, nails, hands, and feet during breast cancer treatments. Dr. Flippin experienced the side effects first-hand when chemotherapy caused nerve damage to her feet.
Chemotherapy can leave you feeling upset and may cause a level of discomfort to your body, such as hand-foot syndrome. While most side effects are not severe, symptoms of changes may include:
- Thin or fragile skin
- Pain, soreness, or burning on the palms and soles of the feet
- Increased sensitivity to the sun
- Painful, thin, brittle, or cracked fingernails and toenails
- Ragged or dry cuticles
- Nails that lift off the nail beds
Managing symptoms and keeping hand-foot syndrome from getting worse can be helped. Keeping hands and feet cool, taking over the counter pain relievers, and preventing dryness and cracking of your skin by using a non-scented, thick moisturizing cream on your hands and feet multiple times a day will help ease the discomfort.
2. Schedule a Mammogram/Clinical Breast Exam
Everyone’s breasts are different. If you spot any unusual changes to your breasts, you should have them checked out by your doctor. Finding early signs of breast cancer means there is a better chance for a successful treatment.
Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest, or armpit
- A change in the skin such as dimpling or puckering
- A change in color of the breast – the breast may look inflamed or red
- Changes in size or shape of the breast
- Rash or crusting around the nipple
Noticing any unusual change in your breasts doesn’t mean you have breast cancer. Still, it is crucial to get checked by your primary care physician or gynecologist.
3. Donate to FLIPPIN TO A CURE®
With thousands of breast cancer charities competing for donations, you want to make sure the one you chose makes the most significant impact. Flippin to a Cure does just that as a non-profit foundation focusing on advancing education and addressing the disparity of care to women in underserved and under-represented communities. Flippin to a Cure supports survivors emotionally, financially, and spiritually so they can focus on the path to recovery rather than the financial aspects of the disease. Please donate to the cause, to help support cancer patients and their families.
4. Free Manicure at UZURI
Mark your calendars! Dr. Flippin has a luxurious manicure in-store at UZURI for breast cancer survivors. And the best part is, it is FREE! If you are a breast cancer survivor and could use a soothing manicure for your tired hands, join us the week of October 19 – 23. Appointments are first-come, first-serve with limited slots available, and safe social distancing guidelines in place. Hurry to book your appointment now before it’s too late!
5. Wear Pink
Whether it’s a cute pink outfit or simply a pink ribbon – rock the shade all month long. Engage with your friends, family, and coworkers and tell them why you’re wearing pink.
6. Provide Education
It is important to arm ourselves with knowledge and continue to educate women on the importance of getting a mammogram, clinical breast examination, and genetic testing. Being proactive and having effective doctor’s visits allows for early detection to save lives. If you wait, cancer can spread, but if caught early, there are treatments that can help beat the cancer.
Whenever you get the chance, talk about breast cancer with the women in your life and educate them on the benefits of getting tested. You may help save a life.
At UZURI, we want breast cancer survivors to be bold, be beautiful, be confident- with or without your hair. Learn more about the importance of knocking out breast cancer with Flippin to a Cure. And don’t forget to schedule your free manicure with UZURI if you’re a breast cancer survivor today!