5 Things you can do to Mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Feel good by Doing Good this October!

Healthy woman illustration design with pink ribbon hair for breast cancer awareness support campaign. EPS10 vector file.

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness month, we at OPTIPHI® would like to celebrate the amazing things that people can do to help others. If you are wondering what you and your company can do this October to contribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here is a list of exciting activities:


  1. Join Cuppa for Cancer

To mark Mandela Day OPTIPHI® joined forces with Mrs SA Finalist 2015, Anéle Jansen Van Rensburg’s Cuppa for Cancer held on Saturday 18 July. All proceeds from the event went to CANSA. Why not sponsor a Cuppa for Cancer event?

  1. Volunteer at your Local Hospice

Many affected by cancer have no friends or family to visit them. They would appreciate the company and maybe even a hand with some household chores or shopping. Why not brighten someone’s day by sparing some of your time?

  1. Donate your Hair for a Wig

Hair loss is a common side-effect of chemotherapy. CANSA makes and distributes over 2 000 wigs via wig banks each year – of those, 200 are donated to cancer survivors under the age of 18. Contact your closest CANSA Care Centre to find out how to donate your ponytail.

  1. Take a Table at Pink Drive’s Pink Mardi Bra Dinner

Enjoy an evening of glitz and glamour with Pink Drive. With the promise of helping you to forget about the year’s mayhem for a night while helping a good cause, why not book a table?

  1. Spar Women’s Race

The SPAR Women’s Races began in 1992 as a way to get women of all ages, shapes and sizes together to enjoy a safe 5km or 10km run and enjoy the day. Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether they run regularly or are just starting out. Enter a team, enjoy a fun filled day out and support some good causes.

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Understanding cancer risk and genetics

Digital illustration DNA structure in colour background

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we at OPTIPHI® believe that the best way to reduce the number of breast cancer sufferers is through educating and creating awareness about how to do regular self-checks. Armed with the correct information, women can save their lives through early detection, and where possible, prevention.

Getting to the heart of the problem

Scientists and doctors have been searching for links between many factors that may cause cancer from diet to carcinogenic materials in the hope of reducing the number of women diagnosed. While many things have been linked, it’s hard to say conclusively that there is one exact cause; one area that has sparked interest is the genetic link.

Angelina Jolie made world headlines after her decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy after a simple blood test had revealed that she carried a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. This mutation meant that she had an estimated 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer. This sparked much debate among women around the world. If you are one of them then here are the facts:


What are BRCA1 and BRCA2?

Most people who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease; however, if one has a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer then one’s genes could have played a role in the cancer’s development.

Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) or BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2). Women who inherit a mutation in either of these genes have a higher risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. These mutations can be inherited from their mother or their father. Breast and ovarian cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations tend to develop at younger ages than their nonhereditary counterparts.

What do the stats show?

According to the National Cancer Institute, women with an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene have about a 60% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes (compared to 12-13% for women overall). These women’s risk of ovarian cancer is also increased.

How are tests carried out?

Since mutations are quite rare, many doctors only suggest testing if there is a specific family history. To carry out the test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for DNA analysis.

Who should get tested?

Any women with family members with breast, ovarian, fallopian tube or peritoneal cancer should be evaluated to see if their family history is associated with an increased risk of a harmful mutation in one of these genes.

What if you get a positive result?

According to Marisa Weiss, M.D., president and founder, Breastcancer.org: “Simply having a proven gene abnormality does not necessarily mean that a woman will develop breast cancer, or that her cancer will be any worse than cancer that does not stem from an inherited genetic flaw.”


Know the facts and discuss your concerns with your doctor

There is no substitute for regular breast self-exams and clinical breast exams are critical to minimize breast cancer risk. Visit www.cansa.org.za for more information or to find the nearest CANSA Care Centre.

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How to make sure you choose the right bra size?

It’s not just about Comfort…

Pile of sexy bras with lace details

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we at OPTIPHI® believe that taking care of your bodies health is extremely important. Here is a simple guide to help you get the most out of your bra, find the right fit and look your best.

How often should you measure your bra size?

Our bodies change all the time due to a multitude of factors. As we lose or gain weight, change our gym routine, go through hormonal changes during and after pregnancy and as our bodies mature. To ensure that you bra size is still the best fit for you, it’s important to regularly measure your size.

Getting the most out of your bra

Here are some facts about bras that every woman should know:

  • A well-fitted bra should provide 90 percent of the support from the band and the straps the remaining 10 percent.
  • Get yourself measured according to the bra you want to purchase. Sizes vary from brand to brand and from style to style.
  • To ensure that you look and feel your best don’t skimp when it comes to shopping – rather have 3 expensive instead of 9 cheapies. Quality underwear lasts longer and is manufactured for results.
  • You shouldn’t wear the same bra every day. To ensure that your bras keep their shape for as long as possible, have a few bras that you rotate.
  • The cups size of a 32D is not the same as a 42D – cup sizes are relative.
  • If your breasts are uneven, go with the bigger side and simply adjust the strap on the smaller side to compensate.

How to know if you are wearing the wrong bra size?

If your bra does/has any of the following, then it’s time to get some professional assistance:

  • wrinkling or puckering of cups,
  • the underwire hurts you,
  • the band rides up,
  • spillage of any sort,
  • slipping straps,
  • your bra slips up when you lift your arms,

How to measure your bra size?

OPTIPHI® is designed to suit your unique skin needs and your bra should be no different. Since every woman’s body is unique and each brand has their own sizing and fitting guidelines, there definitely isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to finding the best fit.  To make sure that you get the right bra size and best fit, enlist the help of a professional. Many stores offer this as a service and will gladly help you make the best selection for your size and needs.

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