What color is your bra? Facebook grassroots campaign asks women this question in order to raise awareness for breast cancer

If you got onto your facebook account late last week or this weekend, you may have noticed a confusing trend – women posting colors as their facebook statuses. The statuses were answering the question, “What color is your bra?” Users were encouraged to only post the bra color in an intentional effort to confuse other users who were not aware of the breast cancer awareness campaign.

The cryptic color status prompted thousands of people to ask their friends and Google the question, “what does this mean?” – only to find out that this was a sneaky effort to promote awareness for breast cancer.

The campaign is suspected to have been started by a small group of facebook users through a series of inbox messages encouraging women to answer this question. Said one facebook representative:

“What is particularly unique about this grass-roots campaign is that it seems to have been started by a user or group of users, as opposed to an official entity, and spread virally throughout Facebook,” Facebook’s Malorie Lucich said. “It’s an ideal example of how an individual voice can be magnified to create awareness for a good cause and ignite action among millions by using a site like Facebook.”

This campaign is yet another example of the power of social media. What started from one facebook message turned into thousands of status updates and thousands of people talking and thinking about breast cancer when they normally would not.

To follow more stories like this one and to learn more about the specials available to facebook users at Southern Plastic Surgery, become a fan of Dr. Whiteman.

Older Women Who Drink Alcohol May Have Higher Risk of Recurrent Breast Cancer

A recent study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests that older women who have three to four alcoholic beverages a week are more likely to have their breast cancer return.
The study, performed though Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cancer Registry, looked at 1,900 women who had beaten early-stage invasive breast cancer between the years of 1997 and 2000. The women, who self-reported the amount of alcohol they consumed weekly, were followed for eight consecutive years.

The findings revealed that the women who reported drinking less than a half a drink a day had no higher risk of the breast cancer returning. However, women who reported drinking three to four alcoholic beverages a week experienced a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. The more alcohol the women reported drinking, the higher the risk. The study also found the risk to be even higher in the women who were overweight.

Researchers believe the cause of these findings to be linked to estrogen. Many breast cancers are propelled by estrogen, and alcohol has been known to increase the rate in which a women’s body processes estrogen.

While these findings do not mean that if you drink alcohol you will get breast cancer or that your breast cancer will return, it is simply another reason to consume alcohol in moderation and strive to maintain your overall health.

Dr. Whiteman is a board member and serves as medical director for The Sport of Giving, a nonprofit organization that has raised over a million dollars in support of breast cancer care and prevention in the local area. It is progressive research such as this study that will help women to be informed about the disease and allow them to make the healthiest choices possible.

For more about Dr. Whiteman’s involvement in the breast cancer cause and to learn about his breast reconstruction ‘buddy system’ visit our website.

Testing Performed during Breast Reduction Surgery may Help Detect Early Signs of Breast Cancer

The benefits of breast reduction surgery are obvious; in addition to giving patients a more comfortable breast size, a breast reduction can help alleviate common problems associated with large breasts such as neck and back pain, poor posture, a rash under the breast area, breathing problems, and difficulty engaging in physical activities.

But there may be another surprising benefit for those who opt to undergo this surgery. According to a new study presented at the 2009 conference of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in Seattle, testing the excess fat and tissue removed during breast reduction surgery can lead to better cancer detection. Of the two hundred plus cases that were reviewed, cancerous or pre-cancerous cells were found in 12.4 percent of patients – yet, none of these cancerous or potentially cancerous lesions were found in the mammograms required prior to surgery.

For women fighting breast cancer, early detection is key. With about 90,000 women opting to undergo breast reduction surgery in 2008, there is a great potential to help better identify women who are at-risk for this disease.

Visit Southern Plastic Surgery’s website to learn more about Dr. Whiteman’s breast reduction and breast reconstruction surgery.