Recent Posts

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Exploring A New Approach
Breast Cancer Awareness

Even though October is the official month of Breast Cancer Awareness (and we’re well into November now), I believe it’s a subject that we can all continue to learn about anytime of the year. A report published in The Lancet medical journal on November 1, 2016, reveals that the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer could (almost) double from 1.7 million in 2015 to 3.2 million a year by 2030.

I personally, am about a decade past midlife, and yet I’ve never had a mammogram. Many doctors and woman might think of this lack of action on my part as highly irresponsible. However, I am diligent about conducting my own manual breast exams and monitoring my overall breast health through an annual, or biannual thermal breast screening called Thermography.

Thermography, which is scientifically known as Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging (DITI), has been a (FDA) non-invasive viable adjunctive breast screening process since 1982. Then why is it that many people are still totally unaware of its existence? While there are several reasons why I personally have chosen not to have a mammogram, I’d simply like to share my experience in learning about this different approach in managing my breast health.

The best way to describe Thermography (in lay(wo)men terms), is that it is a process where a picture is taken with a special infrared camera that captures a thermal image that can identify disruptions to normal physiology (functions or patterns) in the human body by detecting (what I call) thermal hot spots. This is not a scientific description by any means. The way I understand it, the screening process identifies unusual tissue behavior through heat variances – which are visible on the screen/scan with different colors. Only a trained professional will be able to accurately read and assess the colors and image.

In working with Dr. Hillary Smith, D.C., DHM, C.C.T., the founder of the Breast Thermography Center in Sherman Oaks, CA, I was amazed at the process. My first visit (years ago) was so educational and very comforting. She explained the importance of establishing a baseline for ones breast health, which is done with two subsequent, visits and scans.

During my first visit a thorough health history was taken, along with a scan of my body from the head to just below the ribcage (full upper body scan). The picture was taken from across the room as I rotated around on a round swirly stool as instructed by the doctor – pausing between each picture, capturing approximately 8-10 different angles around my body in total. (A breast scan is only 5 images of the mid-neck line area to the bottom of the rib cage.) There was no physical contact with the camera and no radiation involved. This full upper body scan option (that I choose) is also able to offer important and life changing information about hidden inflammation in the mouth and major arteries in the neck.

During our session, Dr. Smith then explained how cancer cells actually double in numbers every 90 days … so this first scan was to establish a baseline of my breast health moving forward. I then returned 90 days later for a second scan to see if there were any pertinent changes to my physiology? Fortunately for me, there were no apparent changes. The office keeps this original record for seven years for ongoing clinical comparison.

The chart above will give you an idea of how this baseline can be instrumental in assessing ones overall breast health, as it actually shows how precise and beneficial breast Thermography exams can be in the early detection of suspicious cell behavior.

For more information about Breast Thermagraphy, or to find a center near you please visit

Other contributing factors in managing ones own breast health …

Not only is it important to maintain the aforementioned screening processes, but also critical to pay attention to what you are exposed to in your environment (products used for cleaning, in the garden, household pest management protocols, etc.), especially what you are putting in and on your body (foods, skin, beauty care, etc.). All of these things play a part in maintaining good health.

The two things that are not often talked about in relation to contributing to breast health are: the toxic chemicals found in your bath and shower water (hitting your torso/breast area), as well as underarm deodorant products (products being slathered on a major lymph area). These exposures can be equally as dangerous for both men and woman. Below are some of my favorite underarm deodorants that are organic, clean, all-natural, and that really work (for me)!

Deodorant Favorites …
LifeStinks™ – Claire, Annie and Mary Duggan, known as the Duggan Sisters, are three sisters who came together after encountering their own physical, spiritual and emotional challenges over the years, to create a line of products called LifeStinks™. I met these three ladies at the Natural Products Expo 2016 (Expo West), where their vibrant personalities, knowledge and fabulous products made them very popular.

Mary began talking about how important it is to use natural products (really non-toxic and clean), especially on your underarms because of the toxicity risk to the lymph system, as well as a discussion about the connection between breast cancer and bras. One of her big inspirations came after reading Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras by Singer and Grismijer.

They gave me a small travel size of their regular Lavender deodorant to try, which I took home and promptly began using. I was amazed at how well it worked! Then I tried it in my shoes and slippers and remarkably it really did refresh them and my feet on those hot summer days.

Mary and her sister Annie are both manual lymphatic drainage specialists who have learned a lot about the immune system and how it works because of their own physical challenges. In learning how to heal themselves, they gained a vast amount of knowledge, which they passionately share and teach to others through their healing center on the south side of Chicago, and their Don’t Be A Boob campaign.

The LifeStinks™ deodorants come in two essential oil scents (lavender/cedarwood), regular and extra strength travel sizes, as well as in a one-year supply for a refillable stainless steel canister. They also make an all-natural bug repellant. For more info visit:  

Primal Pit Paste – Amy Cazin is a mom, Certified CrossFit® trainer and athlete. After the birth of her daughters, her instincts became increasingly
more astute as to how chemicals in our environment and body care products would potentially impact not only her own health, but the health of her daughters (and her loved ones and friends).

While training for several racing events, Amy noticed that many of the big sponsors were promoting their products by giving out samples of deodorants containing toxic chemicals. As an educated mom (wanting to protect her daughters), this concerned her greatly, knowing that parabens and aluminum in deodorant had become increasingly suspect with regard to being a contributing factor in creating cancer (breast cancer more specifically) and Alzheimer’s disease, and that was just unacceptable.

That’s when Amy went to work on finding a solution. As with many people trying to make the transition from traditional products to healthier versions, Amy was having trouble finding an all-natural deodorant for her active lifestyle that actually worked. When she couldn’t find one, that’s when she tapped into her primal energy, doing in-depth research into clean ingredients that would help her develop a formula for an all-natural organic deodorant that works … Primal Pit Paste!

Today the company also offers a Tough Teeth powder, as well as bath and body products. For more info visit:

Zatik Natural – Ovsanna and her husband Garik Mkrtumyan started Zatik beauty essentials in 2005 – a sustainable organic beauty care line with one
basic premise: what you put on your skin should be just as healthy as the food you put in your body.

Zatik means ladybug, an insect that symbolizes beauty and good fortune. Through its natural activity the tiny ladybug protects plants from harm, allowing them to thrive organically. Zatik products strive to emulate the ladybug’s gentle power. Their beauty products are created in Glendale, California without mass production; using fresh raw botanicals cultivated along the pacific coast, on USDA-certified organic farms without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

EFN’s reviewed Zatik’s natural organic skin care products back in 2009, however, over the years they have grown their line to include a beautifully crafted natural deodorant definitely worth mentioning – both in a roll on (Orange and Vetiver or Herbal Refresh scents), or misty spray option (Mountain Flowers or Santé Herbal Organic). Their Santé Herbal Organic even has a #1 rating on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) skin deep website.

Zatik’s full line of all-natural organic products includes skin, body and hair care products, nourishing oils and soaps, as well as their most recent addition, a nutritional supplement in a cold pressed oil (ingestible), or vegan capsules – Organic Egyptian Black Cumin Seed Oil. For more info visit:

Organic Essence – I also reviewed this company's  Organic Essence’s shea creams years ago after
finding them at Expo West in 2009 (which I love). Since then, owners Gail and Ellery West have created their Organic Confidence line of relentless all-day natural deodorants. Their seven different scents include Lavender, Lemon/Tea Tree Mint, Natural, Rose Petal, Coconut/Vanilla, Jasmine blossom and Wood Spice. They are made with organic nut and essential oils, beewax, baking soda (aluminum free) and root powder, and housed in the company’s innovative compostable packaging, which makes application easy. Plain and simple, pure organic … soothes your skin, and it works!

Organic Essence has grown over the last eight years and now has lip balms, deodorants, shea creams, shea butters, whipped butters, pure shea and soap. You can read an earlier review about their products in EFN’s archived 2009 reviews …  For more info visit:

Honeybee Gardens – Okay men, this one’s for you! Honeybee Garden has created a non-talc, aluminum-free, totally natural hygiene powder for men (and women) that works great as a shaving powder, anti-chaffing powder (you know where you’ll need it!), foot powder and natural deodorant. This manly deodorant comes in unscented, and in their most popular scent, Bay Rum! I love this scent so much I use it myself. I’ve also used it in my shoes in the summer months.

Honeybee Gardens was created in 1995 by author and herbalist Melissa J. Buckley. Years of herbal study prompted Ms. Buckley to create natural personal care products for her and her family. What began as kitchen cosmetics, quickly turned into an enterprising business. You will find Honeybee Garden products in health food stores, pharmacies, on-line stores, herb shops, specialty and gift stores worldwide. For more information visit:


Post a Comment