Category Archives: Blog

FAQ: What is “Safe” to Use on Sensitive Skin?

skincarelargeThough I’m not a dermatologist, it seems that every day I’m asked questions about skin care by patients, customers, colleagues and friends.

They boil down to the following most Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. What can I use when my 6 weeks of radiation are all over?
  2. How can I get that healthy look I can only describe as “pregnancy glow?”
  3. What do I do for ultra dry skin—for example the dry flaking “snake like” skin that resulted from having a cast on a limb for a month?
  4. What is safe to use after surgery?  Can I rub cream near my scar?
  5. What is safe to use during pregnancy?
  6. What is safe for kids with delicate skin? (more…)

Can Facebook Cure Cancer?

facebookthumbsupmedicineI’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much time people spend on Facebook. Much of it is to share photos of the happy events in their lives.  When a new baby is born or your child takes his first steps, it’s wonderful to share these moments with friends far across the country or maybe even on another continent.

Increasingly, people harness all of this friend power to rally around and solve a problem. A few years ago a teen in my neighborhood went missing. Posts that went up (more…)

Concussions and Youth Sports

As mothers, grandmothers, aunts and friends of children who play sports, we have first-hand knowledge that physical injuries have become increasingly common. I’m not talking about the broken bone from falling off a bicycle, or the sprained ankle from an informal game of kickball in the backyard. These are a normal part of growing up, and have been occurring for a hundred years. (more…)

Women Abusing Alcohol: A Growing Problem

womandrinkingwineThis past Monday one of my normally upbeat and outgoing patients, whom I’ll call Jill, burst into tears when I asked about her weekend. On Friday night, while driving to pick up her daughter from a school activity, she was stopped by police at a sobriety checkpoint in her town. She’d had two glasses of red wine that evening, and her blood alcohol level was over the legal limit. She was issued a summons and had to call her husband to come and get her. The whole experience, she said, was beyond mortifying. (more…)

BFFL Co Debuts Women’s Wellness Column on EverydayHealth.com

everydayhealthWe are thrilled to announce our collaboration with leading online publication EverydayHealth.com, where we will be posting articles and blogs containing timely information on health and wellness issues relating to women and families.

Our goal is to distill information relevant to women’s wellness from the headlines and medical journals, so that readers can make better and more proactive decisions regarding their own health and lead happier, more empowered lives. (more…)

Can You Really Afford to $moke?

costofsmokingEveryone understands the health dangers of smoking, both for smokers and those breathing secondary smoke. Smoking is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and has ill effects on virtually every organ in the body.

Few smokers, however, seem to realize just how detrimental it is to their wallet.

Here are the economics: a pack per day habit can cost a smoker in an urban area like New York over $5,300 per year. That’s more than 10% of the median U.S.  household income —  incredibly hard to justify. It’s recommended that people spend 25% of their income on housing.  Would you rather smoke or have a nicer place to live? (more…)

Behind the Wheel? Lose the Phone.

DontDietoReplyThere are Mothers Against Drunk Driving. There should also be Mothers Against Distracted Driving.

Using cell phones or smart phones behind the wheel, or “driving while intexticated,” results in the death of 11 teens each day in the US, according to the Institute of Highway Safety. Almost a quarter of all car accidents, or a total of 1.3 million crashes last year, involved cell phone use.

Though none of my kids yet drive, they will be driving soon, and I’m terrified at what I see happening on the roads. When a light turns green, the cars don’t even budge  – because drivers are all looking at their smartphones. (more…)

Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment Options Topic of Fox News Segment

FoxMarketsNowimageProstate cancer screening and treatment options were the key topics discussed during a recent appearance on Fox Business News by BFFL Co CEO Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson.

Dr. Thompson talked to Markets Now anchors Dagen McDowell and Connell McShane about the need to increase men’s awareness of prostate cancer treatment options, including new developments in the areas of molecular profiling and hormonal therapy. Many physicians are customizing treatments to optimize outcome and minimize side effects. She also discussed the fact that men are often reluctant to talk about their concerns, particularly regarding side effects like incontinence and impotence. Click here to watch the segment.

Plain Talk About Prostate Cancer

Few men want to talk about prostate cancer.  While the pink ribbon is ubiquitous and women readily talk about breast cancer on the daily talk shows and elsewhere, few men will discuss prostate cancer out in the open.  But the harsh reality is that just as many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year as are women with breast cancer.

The goal of prostate cancer screening and treatment is obviously to catch the disease early and cure the patient, just like for breast cancer.  Often there is a similar combination of several different treatments, such as radiation therapy combined with hormonal therapy. (more…)

Take This Important Step to Prevent Cervical Cancer

ccamJanuary is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to learn more about this deadly disease that is the third leading type of cancer in women worldwide. Cervical cancer’s symptoms are neither seen nor felt until the disease is advanced and hard to treat. That’s a lot of women suffering from a disease that can now be prevented with a vaccine. (more…)

Top Ten Healthy Resolutions for 2014

Doctor run to new yearDo you resolve every year to get healthy, only to see your enthusiasm fizzle out by late January? Well, make 2014 your year to get it done! We hope our list of top ten healthy resolutions will give you motivation to tackle these important goals.

1. Lose Weight

Most people will put “losing a few pounds” on their New Year’s Resolution list, but new evidence in one area makes it essential for women (and men) of all ages.

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., and in its wake is Type 2 diabetes.  The majority of women of childbearing age are overweight or obese as measured by body mass index or BMI of over 26.  When women are overweight going into pregnancy, it’s more likely that their babies will be obese.  Girl babies then grow into heavy women and the cycle continues.  Obesity leads to many health problems and is a serious issue for children in the US.  (more…)

Katie Couric Selects AxillaPilla® for Swag Bag!

KatieCouricSlidernotextsmallTalk show host and news anchor Katie Couric selected BFFL Co’s AxillaPilla® comfort pillow to be included in “Katie’s Swag Bag”, a feature of her daily ABC talk show “Katie!”

One day each week, Couric puts together a group of her favorite products to feature on-air and give to members of the audience.  Katie discovers new products and then shares them with her audience.  On her website it says, “Katie’s giving away the items she loves!” (more…)

The Return of the Fist Pump and Air Kiss

Worried man reading his temperature on a thermometerAccording to the CDC, flu season has already started! Here are some tips on: what to do when those around you are sick, how you can help them, and how to keep from catching the flu yourself.

Get a flu shot! It’s not too late – unless you’ve developed symptoms already. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year over half the adults in the US fail to get a flu shot. Since getting vaccinated dramatically increases the odds that you won’t get the flu, why take the risk that you might get sick, miss work or school, and spread the virus to others?

Make sure what you or your family member has is really the flu! Flu symptoms include fever over 101 degrees, chills, body aches, dry cough, fatigue, headache and sore throat.  Don’t rush to the doctor’s office without calling first.  Waiting rooms are just about the most infectious places on earth.  If the nurse or physician recommends that you come in for an office visit, bring your own reading material and don’t touch anything! (more…)

Please Take Care – It’s Icy Out There

DangerIceI just hung up the phone with my dear friend Penny, who is expecting her first child. She commutes to work each day on the train, and often finds herself on a slippery slope – literally.

It’s hard enough to navigate sidewalks, steps and street corners when you are not pregnant, but winter snow and ice present an extra challenge. (more…)

Dee Dee Ricks Educates Us All

deedeericksOver the past two years I have had the privilege of getting to know Dee Dee Ricks. I knew she was a breast cancer survivor, so when I first met her, I asked her to tell me a little about her experience with the disease. Her no-nonsense reply was, “Did you watch my documentary?  You need to before we can talk.”

Watching the 2011 HBO film The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, I learned a lot about the woman who had become a fierce advocate for Breast Cancer Navigation. In it, she tells the story, in her gentle southern drawl, of the “education” she received during her three-year journey from (more…)

What To Expect: The BFFL Co Guide to Mastectomy

AngelinaJolieHollywood star Angelina Jolie was a brave inspiration to all of those women dealing with a BRCA mutation or family history when she announced the startling news of her prophylactic double mastectomy. Most recently “Good Morning America” correspondent Amy Robach announced to viewers that she, too, would soon undergo a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Due to advances in screening and genetic counseling/testing, women have options and information to help them make decisions. When pre-emptive or diagnosed early, women have a much better chance to be cured or avoid the disease.

While making the decision or told you need to have surgery is the biggest step, women still need help in preparing and recovering from these new surgeries.

We at BFFL Co are pleased to share with you The BFFL Co Guide to Mastectomy, an (more…)

Holiday Tips for Cancer Caregiving

Holidays and special occasions are meant to be joyful times that create lasting memories. Many people enjoy reuniting with family and friends to celebrate traditions during these times. However, for the person who is caring for a loved one with cancer, it can be challenging to balance caregiving responsibilities while preparing for family get-togethers, parties, and other events. By planning ahead and using the tips discussed here, caregivers and their loved ones can find ways to get the most out of these special times.  (more…)

E-Cigarettes: Better for You, or Just Another Form of Addiction?

young female smoker smoking e-cigarette outdoors. Head and shoulders, side viewLast week, a patient of mine who has lung cancer told me that our recent heart-to-heart discussion about his need to quit smoking cigarettes in order for his radiation treatments to be effective had actually worked: After 42 years of the nasty habit, he had stopped.

The tears that started to well up in my eyes quickly began to dry, however, as he went on to explain that he had replaced his Marlboros with electronic cigarettes.

Like most non-smokers, I did not know much about electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs, as they’re commonly called, except that they have been frequently mentioned in the news (more…)

Thinking About Our Veterans

USPHSlogoI always loved to see my father in uniform.  He was a member of the Public Health Service and worked at the National Cancer Institute for 25 years before taking a job at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.  His uniform was always carefully laundered and hung proudly in our front hall closet (nobody dared touch it).  His father, my grandfather, was a physician as well, and had served in the Army during WWII. He and my grandmother, who held down the fort in South Central Illinois, wrote what eventually became a mountain of letters to each other, each more fascinating and poignant than the last. My father fought the enemy called cancer, while my grandfather fought to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. (more…)

Why Men Won’t Ask For Directions

It almost seems like an overworked adage: that a man will drive around town for an hour, or stay on a highway for miles past the exit, rather than stop and ask for directions. But there’s a lot of truth to it. Asking for help is a sign of weakness, and men, despite all of society’s (and women’s) efforts to make them more sensitive, like to appear strong and in control.

Health care professionals find that this tendency extends to asking for guidance on medical issues as well. Evelyn, a nurse in a major New York hospital, frequently encounters what she calls the Suffer In Silence syndrome. “Some men will lie there in pain for hours before pushing the call button for help. But that’s my job— I’m here to help!” (more…)

Passion and Purpose: Women Transform Their Careers at Midlife and Thrive

passionandpurposeThe following is an excerpt from a recently-published article in A Woman’s Health that included a profile of BFFL Co. founder and CEO Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson. To read the entire article, click here

Putting Patients First

Elizabeth Chabner Thompson always knew that she wanted to be a doctor. “I grew up in a very medical home—my father and grandfather were physicians—and it was considered an honored profession,” she says. (more…)