Let’s face it: For many of us, sex toys are an embarrassing topic of conversation — even six margaritas deep with our BFFs. But somewhat unexpectedly, when it comes to breast cancer — the most commonly diagnosed cancer among America women besides skin cancer — sex toys are something we should be talking about when we talk about recovery. To wit: Bala Cynwyd-based nonprofit Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s Shop-to-Support store boasts a full line of CalExotics sex toys designed specifically for women who are going through or have been through breast cancer treatment.
But we get it: putting two and two together — as in why, exactly, a breast cancer nonprofit is promoting sex toys — can be a bit difficult to grasp. That’s precisely why I, being the ever-nosy human I am, talked to Doylestown-based psychologist Dr. Pamela Ginsberg, who specializes in women’s health and working with women who have cancer, and who also works with LBBC, to answer the question: WTF do sex toys have to do with breast cancer recovery? Turns out, a vibrator (or a silicone dilator kit, or a breast massager) can play a pretty big role.
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I’ve heard about hospitals that employ tattoo artists as part of their reconstructive teams for women who undergo mastectomy procedures, but until today, I’d never actually seen one of them in action. Last week, Penn Medicine released a super powerful video, in which one patient, named Emily, allows her nipple-tattoo session to be documented by a film crew. Read more »
When Angelina Jolie announced in the New York Times, in May of last year, that she’d undergone a radical mastectomy, she wrote, “Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.” Her bravery was widely applauded, and she became “the new, gorgeous poster woman” for the procedure, which she chose to have because, like her mother, who died at age 56 from cancer, she carries the BRCA1 gene that increases the risks of both ovarian and breast cancer. In the wake of her announcement came a rash of news stories about other women—some as young as 21—who’d opted for the surgery, along with tweets by breast cancer survivors calling Jolie “so brave” (Sheryl Crow) and “admirable,” among other accolades.
Now, belatedly, science is catching up to the publicity buzz.
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Ardmore-based Breastcancer.org posed the following question to its Facebook fans yesterday: “What is the one thing you DO NOT want to hear when you tell someone you have cancer?”
Not surprisingly, the question got a ton of responses from cancer patients and survivors, who shared what resonated and jarred them when they told their friends, family members and coworkers that they’d been diagnosed with cancer. I thought we might all be able to learn a thing or two from their posts, so here is a selection of the most insightful responses. Click on the link above to see the full list.
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