Every year roughly 1.6 million children and adults are diagnosed with cancer, with an estimated total of 11 million living with cancer in any given year. There are likely fewer people who have been affected by cancer than have not.
I had a melanoma ten years ago, I've also had thyroid cancer fifteen years ago. With those two occurrences in mind, like many cancer survivors, I began thinking about how I could live my healthiest life-- ultimately, leading me to Marie Veronique Organics.
So, today, I'm especially excited to announce our latest guide to help cancer survivors learn more about awareness, prevention and healthier living
. This growing guide features resources from the Breast Cancer Fund
, safe self care advocates and other organizations including:
What you choose NOT to put on your skin and inside your body is as important as what you do. This is particularly important for cancer survivors. With the help of resources from safe self-care advocate, organizations and others--we've gathered a growing list of chemicals and ingredients to avoid. Many of these chemicals and ingredients can be found in your daily life including your home, the environment, in food, in personal care products and beyond.
The Breast Cancer Fund's mission is to help expose and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer. Their Tips for Prevention advice is worth reading for cancer survivors and all people who want to avoid the chemicals, environmental factors and ingredients that are linked to cancer and other diseases.
Faced with chemotherapy, radiation and the many challenges cancer survivors face--healthy skin may appear to be an elusive dream. While, all effects of cancer and treatment on your body can not be avoided, there are steps cancer survivors can take to heal damaged skin from the inside out.
Beyond what you put inside your body for healthier skin, what you put ON your skin is as important as what you do NOT put on your skin. Skin changes during cancer treatments (and beyond) can be a significant challenge during the journey. From mild dry skin to severe cases of dry desquamation and erythema. Making matters worse, it is often difficult to find skin care solutions that are also safe and healthy for cancer survivors.
Yours in health and beauty,
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This week, we'd like to introduce you to Britta Aragon, founder of Cinco Vidas. Britta has been a one-woman force to help cancer survivors' learn more about safe self-care during and after treatment. Britta has also been a fierce advocate in educating women about chemicals and toxins in everyday products.
Britta's journey through cancer, her experience as caretaker for her father during his 8-year cancer battle, and her decision to launch Cinco Vidas in his honor is truly an inspiration to all cancer survivors.
Britta's new book, When Cancer Hits: Your Complete Guide to Taking Care of YOU Through Treatment
, has recently been released. With real life stories from survivors plus advice from doctors and experienced health experts
, When Cancer Hits delivers life-changing information on how to take care for your body, boost your immune system, encouraging your own healing, and nurture your soul while on the road to recovery.
We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Britta:
Tell us about Cinco Vidas and how you became a natural beauty expert and cancer community leader?
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 16 years old and had a second experience with the disease when my father was diagnosed with colon cancer 8 years later.
When dad was going through treatment, I sought solutions for the difficult side effects he suffered on his hair skin and nails but I was disappointed and disheartened with the lack of straightforward information and effective solutions.
In caring for him, I tried to help, but soon discovered that most so-called “high-quality” products were loaded with irritants, potentially harmful chemicals, and even carcinogens. Compelled to find better solutions and being a trained makeup artist, I researched the issue, but discovered there weren’t very many resources that targeted the dermatological side effects of cancer and also found very little information on taking care of these side effects or on finding safe personal care products.
Unfortunately, after a courageous 8 year cancer battle, my father passed away in August 2007 and I knew at that moment that it was my personal mission and purpose to honor my father’s legacy and dedicate my work to helping others in the cancer journey. In 2008 I founded Cinco Vidas (five lives in Spanish), a community forum which provides the resources and information I wish I had while I had cancer and I was caring for my father ; Specifically, what to use and what to avoid while someone is undergoing treatment.
Since its inception, we have had an overwhelming response and it has become a much needed resource that filled the gap for many on the cancer journey, from patients and caregivers to nurses and doctors.
Why did you write the book?
Two years after I founded Cinco Vidas, I had a vivid dream where my father was holding a book, and telling me how proud he was of me. I took it as a sign that this was the next step! I knew how much the Cinco Vidas blog had helped so many and I felt it was a natural transition to be able to have all this information in one place for easy access. When Cancer Hits is the book I wish I had while I was going through chemo and while my mother and I were caring for my father and its now available for others in the journey. It was written by my father as much as it was written by me because I felt extremely guided throughout the whole year I was writing.
We love this quote “Caring for skin isn’t just about beauty. It’s about health from the outside in.” can you expand?
I love this quote too. Whatever is going on with our health is usually reflected back to the world through our skin. I believe using skincare products is a great way to care for your skin but only if its not adding potentially harmful chemicals to your system. Caring for our skin is also caring for our health, what we put on matters just as much and what we ingest. We need to make the body less burdened and it all starts with what we put on our skin on a daily basis.
I know the pillars of beauty in your life were your mom and grandmother. When did you realize that make-up and beauty products could make you sick? How do you find your beauty products today?
I have been in the beauty industry for almost 11 years and you would think that I would have heard or learned somewhere along my studies or work experience about potentially harmful chemicals in cosmetics. But I did not. I assumed that if it was on the shelf, I was safe and had nothing to worry about. It wasn’t until my second experience with the disease while caring for my father during his fight with cancer that I discovered that most products out there are loaded with irritants, potentially harmful chemicals, and even carcinogens. This was in 2007, and since then, I have dedicated my work to create awareness about potentially harmful chemicals in personal care products.
I always read labels, and I have defiantly found certain brands that I trust and stick with (you being one of them). I often tell people to do their research and find out a company’s philosophy and what they stand for. Once you start to find safe, clean brands that you trust, stick with them and support them.
What beauty advice would you give young girls today?
To not rush into growing up, to know they are worthy and deserving of all the goodness in this world, to love themselves for their unique gifts and talents and to wear non-chemical SPF everyday.
Enter to Win Britta's Book
Britta has generously offered to give one lucky MVO reader a free copy of her new book.
To enter, just leave us a comment below and let us know how Cancer has affected your life, share your story or how the information provided in this book would help you. A big thanks to Britta and good luck to everyone!
We'll announce the winner of Britta's book in here and in our Newsletter on 10/18, so make sure you're subscribed :-)
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