DentaMedica is now part of StellaLife. Learn more

Liz Lundry RDH

Innovator Series

Liz from StellaLife discusses Breast Cancer Awareness in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Video transcription:

“Hello. I'm Liz Lundry, the clinical education manager for StellaLife, and we're doing this special presentation of our Facebook series today as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer? Did you know that one out of 1000 men will also be diagnosed with breast cancer? I lost my sister to metastatic breast cancer when she was 55 years old. She first discovered a lump and then had a diagnosis of cancer and had a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiation therapy. She went through this procedure three times over a period of three years until she finally succumbed. So by the time it was diagnosed, she already had a lump that was visible, but so many times there's cancer present and we don't see any symptoms at all, which is why the routine screenings that are recommended are so very important. My first mammogram, when I was around 40 years old, revealed some calcifications which ended up being benign and I had normal mammograms for years and years after that, until my last one, a couple of months ago, which revealed calcifications again. I wasn't too concerned, assuming they would probably be benign and my body just did this sort of thing,  but as it turned out, I actually had a typical ductal dysplasia and I had a lumpectomy and the pathology report showed that I did not have cancer, thank goodness. But now I have to be ever vigilant because I do have risk factors that I'm aware of and I'm trying to have a healthier lifestyle and I'm going to continue having my routine screenings. The tissue that was removed only measured 6 mm, that's a very small amount of tissue that was diseased and that was abnormal and we would never have noticed that without having the mammography done. And I know that with many of us, it's not something that we look forward to, and there are alternatives to mammography that I'll talk about in a bit. I also want to share the story of a good friend of mine named Andy, and Andy actually was diagnosed with breast cancer and he ended up losing his nipple and areola, but he survived. He had no symptoms that he could see, but he was experiencing rapid weight loss and it was kind of funny because he just put himself on a diet and thought the diet was doing really well. But if you notice that you have unexplained weight loss without any lifestyle changes, so we're talking about 10 pounds of weight loss very quickly, that can often be a sign not just of breast cancer but also other cancers. So these are some of the symptoms that we need to look for, whatever gender we are, we all are susceptible and nobody is immune. So the ten symptoms that we have to watch out for our fatigue as well as the unexplained rapid weight loss. And that is the same with any type of cancer, we do see it with breast cancer as well. Other symptoms that we're aware of is seeing a lump in the breast area, any bleeding or discharge from the nipple, and this is the same with males or females, all of these symptoms that I'm going through right now. So a lot of times with males, the lump will be under the nipple. If there's a change in the shape or the size of the breast, this is an area or a reason for concern and should definitely be checked out by a doctor. From what I've learned, men often will not go to a doctor when they have the symptoms because it's kind of embarrassing, so they don't really do anything about it. So by the time they do see somebody, it's often too late. So if you see any lump or lesion or anything unusual, any type of growth in the breast area and it does not resolve after two weeks, please see your physician and get it checked out. I've already mentioned any type of a discharge from the nipple as well as redness of the skin around the nipples or an itchiness or scaliness that does not go away. Inverted nipples are also a symptom. So any changes that you see that are not temporary really need to be checked out. But in addition to the traditional mammograms that are available, we have other options for early detection and screening, and that includes 3D ultrasound, image thermography, infrared imaging as well as electrical impedance tomography. So there are other alternatives out there, and many are finding that a combination of mammography with 3D ultrasounds, for example, gives you a much clearer diagnosis, and some lesions are not visible on mammograms, but they are in the other technologies. So talk to your doctor about that. And if you or anybody you know is battling cancer, whether it's breast cancer or any other type of cancer, we at StellaLife can offer relief for the mucocutaneous lesions as well as the xerostomia and the general discomfort and pain associated in the oral cavity with any type of chemotherapy as well as radiation of the head or neck. So ideally, if these patients can use our recovery kit starting three times a day, three days before they begin their treatment, they're going to have less of these symptoms, it'd be much more comfortable and be able to eat after they start their treatment as they're going through their therapy. If they're already in the midst of it, they can still get relief from using the StellaLife Recovery kit as well as the rinse and the gel. So we're here to help and we wish all of you well and please, have your screenings and maintain a healthy lifestyle. So eat lots of cruciferous vegetables and try to get lots of rest. It's all about the immune system as well, so make sure that you're really getting the 8 hours of sleep that we need and just eating healthy and stay happy, that is one of the most important things that we can do. Thank you so much.”