Friday, April 2, 2010

Helping Breast Cancer Patients Feel Whole Again

One thing that is interesting about being a public relations professional – or a writer – is you learn a lot about different people, occupations and events. It’s like being a Jill-of-all-trades – only with a keyboard instead of a hammer.

For instance, I have a client, Isabel Calleros, who teaches nurses, aestheticians and other medical professionals about tattooing areolas (nipples). I was familiar with tattooing for permanent makeup (lips, eyebrows etc.) but wasn’t sure what areola tattooing was about. At first I thought it was like nipple piercing. Not my cup of tea, but each to their own.

However, it wasn’t at all what I thought it was. I figure if I didn’t know about nipple re-pigmentation, chances are many of my faithful readers didn’t know about it either. And since this is my blog, I’m going to write about it.

After women with breast cancer undergo a mastectomy, many opt to have breast reconstruction. What is unknown to many breast cancer survivors is the rebuilding of the breast does not always include the creation of the nipple. What Ms. Calleros offers at the International Areola Restoration Academy is training for nurses, aestheticians and other medical professionals to tattoo a realistic looking areola/nipple on the reconstructed breast of post-mastectomy patients.

Isabel insists that each person she trains give back to the community and offer free services to at least 10 women who may not have the funds – or proper insurance – to cover this final stage of breast reconstruction.

Those who want to learn more – whether it’s for the training or for the procedure – can either contact Ms. Calleros by calling 480-528-0200 or online at Another option is to email me through this blog and I’ll get them in touch with the IARA.

I consider myself a pretty well-informed person, but I didn’t know about this training or that nipples are sometimes gone following a mastectomy. I’ve known women who have had mastectomies, but the subject didn’t come up.

So that is why I’m writing about it.

I wonder how many women are out there who would benefit from this procedure, but are too ashamed to ask? Perhaps they feel they should be thankful they survived their breast cancer and be satisfied with their breast reconstruction as is.

Of course I disagree. I believe folks should be open to learning about the choices that are available to them. That is not to say that knowledge prevents tragedy from occurring. We are going to face obstacles in life, no matter how optimistic or careful we are. However, no matter how unpleasant the circumstances, we still have the power to change our lives for the better.

Which brings me back to the purpose of this blog. For those who are looking for a way to improve their lives and erase negativity, I hope you will read our book. It is available online for only $6.99 at

Ten percent of it can be read for free. Even reading half should be enough to help a lot of people.

But I’m also concerned about those who may not normally read this blog. Just like post-mastectomy women who do not know all the options available for areola re-pigmentation, there are negative people who feel like they are condemned to a life devoid of happiness because they haven’t been exposed to a book that could help change their perspective.

What I'm asking today is that you take the initiative and offer hope to someone who is suffering. Whether it's about areola re-pigmentation, or a kind suggestion to read a book like Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within. The world will be a better place if more people feel hopeful about their lives. Please help spread the word. Because what people don’t know, CAN hurt them.

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