BRCA1 vs BRCA2

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.

Connect via Facebook & Twitter with OPTIPHI®

3 Easy Steps to do a Breast Self-Exam in the Comfort of your Home

Regular breast checks can save your life

Can7

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we at OPTIPHI® believe that regular checks are critical to the health and wellbeing of every woman. Regular self-examination of your breasts makes it easier to detect any changes. We cannot stress enough how monthly Breast Self-exams and regular Clinical Breast Examinations can save your life.

 

According to CANSA, Breast Cancer is the most common cancer affecting South African women – 1 in 35 women in South Africa will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer (NCR 2007). Many breast lumps are harmless, but they should all be checked.

 

Symptom-free women from the age of 40, should go for a mammogram (a special x-ray to detect lumps in the breast) at least every 3 years.

 

Here are 3 easy steps explaining how to perform a breast self-examination in the comfort of your own home:

 

Step 1: Look in the Mirror

Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Do this with your arms:

  • At your sides,
  • Raised in the air
  • With your hands on your hips with your muscles flexed.

Look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

 

Step 2: Check each breast while standing up  

Move your fingertips around your entire breast and armpit area in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the center. If you discover any lumps, thickening, or hardened knots make an appointment to see your doctor.

 

Step 3: Lying down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and put your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move your fingertips around your right breast gently in small circular motions, covering the entire breast area and armpit.

 

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat for your left breast.

 

There is no better feeling than loving your skin and body!

OPTIPHI® is designed to suite your unique skin needs, and is the perfect solution to healthy, balanced, refined and radiant looking skin. Nothing compliments beautiful skin like a healthy body. Regular Breast Self-Exams and Clinical Breast Examinations are a critical part of your health regime. Visit http://www.cansa.org.za to find your nearest CANSA Care Centre to get more information on testing.

Source: http://www.cansa.org.za and http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

Connect via Facebook & Twitter with OPTIPHI®

8 Breast Cancer Myths Busted

Not everything you hear about breast cancer is true – knowing the facts can save your life

Can2

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and we at OPTIPHI® believe that regular checks are critical to the health and wellbeing of every woman. Knowing your breasts and the facts about breast cancer empower women with the knowledge to take care of their bodies and help minimize their breast cancer risk.

 

Here are some of the most common breast cancer myths busted:

 

Myth 1: Only older women get breast cancer

This couldn’t be further from the truth, many woman under the age of 50 get breast cancer. In fact, there are many young celebrities who have been in the news talking about their own battle with breast cancer.

 

Myth 2: Men don’t get breast cancer  

This is absolutely untrue. South African statistics show that 1 in 1046 men have a lifetime risk of getting breast cancer.

 

Myth 3: Alcohol plays no role in breast cancer

Drinking and an unhealthy lifestyle can increase your risk of breast cancer, as does smoking. (Not to mention the damage to your skin)

 

Myth 3: Nobody in my family has had breast cancer so I am not at risk

Those with a family history of breast cancer are at an increased risk, especially if close family members like a mother or sister has a history of breast cancer. However anyone and everyone can develop breast cancer – please do not ignore breast exam recommendations simply based on family history.

 

Myth 4: Only women who have had children are at risk

Women who have never had children and those who have children after the age of 30 are in fact at increased risk.

 

Myth 5: All breast lumps are cancerous

It’s very hard not to think the worst if you find a lump but the fact is that many breast lumps are harmless, but they should all be checked.

 

Myth 6: Breast implants increase your risk of breast cancer

Breast implants don’t put you at any greater risk. They might just mean that additional x-rays are necessary, as mammograms might not work as well.

 

Myth 7: Larger breasts equal a greater risk

It doesn’t matter what size your breasts are, big or small, your risk is not determined by breast size.

 

Myth 8: Breast cancer only comes in the form of lumps

Our blog on how to do a breast self-exam lists the changes that you should look out for. A lump is only one of them. And many lumps are harmless.

 

There is no better feeling than loving your skin and body!

OPTIPHI® is designed to suite your unique skin needs, and is the perfect solution to healthy, balanced, refined and radiant looking skin. Nothing compliments beautiful skin like a healthy body. Regular Breast Self-Exams and Clinical Breast Examinations are critical to minimize your breast cancer risk. Visit http://www.cansa.org.za for more information or to find your nearest CANSA Care Centre.

Connect via Facebook & Twitter with OPTIPHI®

Source: http://www.cansa.org.za; http://www.health.com, http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org

THE OPTIPHI OCTOBER NEWSLETTER

onthego

PINK OCTOBER – OPTIPHI Cares!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and this year OPTIPHI would like to encourage ladies to spread the word about breast cancer, we have also included some information about routine breast checks to ensure you stay in peak health condition.

For those getting ready for the Summer Season – we’d like to remind you about your perfect travel companion – the 2 in 1 as well as a hint to look out for our November special!
We also want to congratulate our PHI-Award winners for OPTIPHI EXCELLENCE – What an achievement, and what a shining example our winners, Ingrid Katz and Deborah Briers are!
Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and read our blogs.

All our love ♥
optiphi® team
012 667 6244 | info@optiphi.com

onthego

Congratulations to our latest regional PHI –AWARDS WINNERS for optiphi Excellence – Congratulations to Ingrid Katz, from Pure Aesthetics & Deborah Briers, Debbie Danks!

PHI

onthego

Early detection saves live! Optiphi® Cares!

How should a breast self-exam be performed?

1)    In the shower

Using the pads of your fingers, move around your entire breast in a circular pattern moving from the outside to the centre, checking the entire breast and armpit area. Check both breasts each month feeling for any lump, thickening, or hardened knot. Notice any changes and get lumps evaluated by your healthcare provider.

2) In front of a mirror

Visually inspect your breasts with your arms at your sides. Next, raise your arms high overhead. Look for any changes in the contour, any swelling, or dimpling of the skin, or changes in the nipples. Next, rest your palms on your hips and press firmly to flex your chest muscles. Left and right breasts will not exactly match—few women’s breasts do, so look for any dimpling, puckering, or changes, particularly on one side.

3) Lying down

When lying down, the breast tissue spreads out evenly along the chest wall. Place a pillow under your right shoulder and your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, move the pads of your fingers around your right breast gently in small circular motions covering the entire breast area and armpit.

Use light, medium, and firm pressure. Squeeze the nipple; check for discharge and lumps. Repeat these steps for your left breast.

optiphi_breastCancer

onthego

Are you ready for your travels?

Summer holidays are almost upon us and with any luck some of us will be away for some sun, sea and leisure! Some extra lucky few will be heading internationally and of course that means airports, airport security and travel restrictions. Never fear though, OPTIPHI has their award winning 2in1 range to save the day.

The Concept

The concept is simple. Create a dual pump OPTIPHI product range that will allow you to travel comfortably anywhere in the world with your favourite homecare range. So that’s what we did. And we created three essential ranges.

• (Moisturize) Facial Cleanser and Moisture Control Light

• (Protect) Facial Cleanser and Protecting Revitalizer

• (Brighten) Facial Cleanser and Complexion Control

The cleanser is constant as this forms part of every daily regime. And besides, who would turn down a ph. neutral, soap free cleanser that deep cleanses and removes impurities from you skin without disturbing the barrier integrity. It also desensitizes the skin to irritation and provides light exfoliation.

Moisturize with Moisture Control Light

You should always make sure that your skin remains moisturized no matter the season. It should be a daily habit, all year long.

Summer might trick you into thinking that you do not need to apply moisturizer but the heat from the sun and the contact with sea water will cause your skin to get dehydrated. And we all know how skin dehydration is a main contributing factor in skin ageing.

Protect your skin with Protecting Revitalizer

During the summer holidays, you will most probably be exposing yourself to the sun in one way or another. We cannot stress enough the importance of protecting your skin with the right products.

The Protect 2 in 1 is ideal in that it will help you against the effect of the sunrays on your skin.

Protecting Revitalizing cream contains heat-activated active that shields the skin and potentiates the self-protective capabilities of the skin – thus fighting the signs of photo-aging

Brighten your skin with Complexion Control

Improve pigmentation and boost collagen with OPTIPHI’s Complexion Control.

The Even Complexion & Brightening Therapy is the ideal product if you happen to suffer from hyperpigmentation – caused by sun as well as environmental factors.

Or if your skin needs a radiance booster to face then New Year? Don’t look further.

We have the answer for all your holiday needs. This OPTIPHI 2in1 range did not win the Fairlady “Best of Beauty” without merit, so don’t be shy, go get yours now. Better yet, ask for it in your Christmas stocking this year.

‘A multi-tasking, two-in-one skincare product that leaves my skin feeling hydrated. And it fits into my travel bag with ease. Genius!’

Kelli Clifton | Fairlady

2in1 Range

onthego

onthego