Photo by Messer Woland
Can breast cancer be prevented?
Melissa Prouty lived a healthier lifestyle than most people. She became a vegetarian in her 20s, actively practiced muay Thai kickboxing and yoga, never smoked, meditated on a regular basis and walked away from a high paying job to reduce stress levels in her life.
Wanderlust got the best of Prouty, so she traveled the world--eventually living briefly in Ireland and a fishing village in Africa. However, upon her return home to Texas in 2011, the 37-year-old learned she had developed breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy, she fully recovered. Then, earlier this year at the age of 39, she got diagnosed again and went through a second round of treatments--a lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. Thankfully, the cancer is now in remission.
Hope: Survivor and shining spirit.
Prouty credits the lessons she learned in muay Thai training for helping her face one of the fiercest battles of her life. "I'm convinced it came into my life to help me deal with cancer," she says. "It made me strong, patient and courageous."
Even during her darkest moments, Prouty's positivity and passion for life prevailed. "The diagnosis of breast cancer doesn't have to be gloom and doom, or the end of your life," she says. "It's a new way of living. You have to keep moving forward."
She pays it forward, too. Prouty teaches free yoga and relaxation sessions at the Baylor Breast Center in Grapevine, Texas, and yoga classes at the Cancer Support Community in Fort Worth, Texas. Plus, she shares her journey on CaringBridge, a nonprofit organization that offers free websites to people facing various medical conditions, hospitalizations and treatments.
Health: New look and outlook.
Can breast cancer be cured? Hopefully within our lifetimes. Can it be prevented? "I definitely think it can--although [not in all cases and] not in mine," Prouty says. "I feel that your chances are reduced with a healthy lifestyle. More important, I believe that the healthier you are, the better you can overcome it."
Women born today have a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lives. To reduce your risk, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following tips:
• Limit alcohol intake.
• Don't smoke.
• Control your weight.
• Be physically active.
• Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy.
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we'd like to celebrate the power of prevention and pink products. The manufacturers of the following skincare and makeup items donate a portion of their proceeds to organizations that support breast cancer research, treatment and education.
Here's to hope, healing and health!
SHINE: eos Limited Edition Breast Cancer Awareness Collection (Strawberry Sorbet Smooth Stick Lip Balm, Pomegranate Raspberry Smooth Sphere Lip Balm and Berry Blossom Hand Lotion). BEAUTY: Keep your lips moist and hands soft with this compassionate kit. BEACON: Free of parabens and glutens. During October and November, the company donates 100% of net profits from the sale of this item to breast cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
SHINE: Giovanni Cosmetics D:tox System (Purifying Facial Cleanser, Purifying Facial Scrub and Replenishing Facial Moisturizer). BEAUTY: Detoxify and smooth your skin with vitamin E, fig and lemon fruit extracts, and aloe vera leaf juice. BEACON: No animal testing and vegan. Free of parabens and sulfates. The company donates 5% of retail sales from its D:tox System line to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
SHINE: iS CLINICAL by Innovative Skincare Poly-Vitamin Serum. BEAUTY: Hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and green tea leaf extract deeply heal and hydrate aging/compromised skin, including radiation dermatitis. BEACON: Free of parabens. Supports the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center at UCLA and Stars For Stripes. During October, the company donates 100% of profits from this item to the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
SHINE: Mio Skincare Boob Tube. BEAUTY: Smooth and firm your breasts with shea butter, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera leaf juice. BEACON: The company donates $1 from the sale of this item this month to Look Good... Feel Better. Contains no parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, synthetic colorants and fragrances, glycols, PEGs or xenoestrogens.
SHINE: Murad Hydrate For Hope Set (Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture and handy cosmetics bag). BEAUTY: Sunflower seed, olive and avocado fruit oils, hyaluronic acid and shea butter in this moisturizer relieve dryness to dehydrated skin and ease the appearance of fine lines. BEACON: No animal testing. During October, the company donates 10% of sales from this item to breast and women's cancers research, treatment and education programs at the City of Hope.
SHINE: Ramy Beauty Therapy Hint of a Cure... In a Pot! BEAUTY: This blendable pink cream-gel gloss illuminates your skin as a natural flush of color for your cheeks, tinted balm for your lips and soft glow for your eyes. BEACON: The company donates 80% of sales from this item this month to Young Survivor Coalition, an organization focusing on women ages 40 and under diagnosed with breast cancer.
SHINE: SkinAgain Rescue. BEAUTY: Relieve skin that has been traumatized by shaving, waxing or burns, including post-radiation procedures, with aloe vera leaf and cucumber extracts, grape seed oil and peptides. BEACON: Cruelty free. Contains no parabens, fragrances or gluten. During October, the company donates 5% of proceeds from its products to the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.