Author: Nicole Joseph-Chin – CEO and Breast Care Specialist at Ms. Brafit

Loving Our Breasts

 Taboo, strange and not talked about, it’s an exceptional experience to hear a woman declare the love she has for her breasts. It’s important to fall in love with our breasts by actions such as keeping them in check, doing self-examinations, observing any changes, wearing proper fitting and comfortable bras, keeping hygienic practices and avoiding compression or scarring due to bras that have been outgrown or bought too small.

Heart Warming

Breasts are close to the heart and so there must be some extra love shown to this heartwarming body part that also provides sustenance for the newborn.

Being Diagnosed

The diagnosis of breast cancer can evoke many emotions including fear, anxiety, anger and denial. Support comes from many sources and in a lot of cases; women who are diagnosed and treated only have the opportunity to accept the outcome, long after treatment.

Fear Factor

The fear of being diagnosed is real for many women and the issues of femininity and wholeness are at the forefront.


The breasts are the most visible symbols of gender differentiation and most of all; of femininity. The sudden removal of this visible part of the anatomy is of critical significance physically and emotionally.

Examining the choice of Angelina Jolie to do “premature” and “preventative” surgery has become a hot topic this week and amidst the global furor of her radical decision, the world has also accepted that the prevalence of breast cancer continues to be a reality.

At every interval of the day, and as you read this article, another woman and in many cases, another male (1 in 1000 according to American Cancer Society Statistics), is being diagnosed with cancer of the breast or some other form of cancer.

The rate of diagnosis continues to increase and the benefits of early detection also continues to be a great stride in the overall longevity and survival rate once detection results in proactive and appropriate treatment.

Jolie’s choice

Angelina Jolie’s choice and decision is not unique. Hers is however premature a more current example of women opting to either remove both prematurely or remove the non-cancerous breast in advance of a detection or malignancy; thus “incurring” a bilateral mastectomy in the process.

Some Celebrity Women before Jolie:

Alisa Savoretti – Diagnosed and opted to remove both

  • Christina Applegate – Diagnosed and opted to remove both
  • Sharon Osbourne – Discovered the gene and opted to remove both
  • Kathy Bates – removed both breasts after battling ovarian cancer and finding a lump in her breasts
  • Wanda Sykes – Went for a breast reduction and discovered cancer, which prompted her to remove both

Two to Go!

Today with so many revolutions in the detection and treatment of breast and other cancers, the debate about choice of a bi-lateral mastectomy is one that continues to hold on moral versus medical grounds.

“Self Maiming”

Recent debates have sparked about “self maiming” and in once instance social blogger and health advocate Mike Adams aka The Health Ranger ( was quoted as saying  “Countless millions of women carry the BRCA1 gene and never express breast cancer because they lead healthy, anti-cancer lifestyles based on smart nutrition, exercise, sensible sunlight exposure and avoidance of cancer-causing chemicals”

Keeping Abreast

Breasts are by far a great asset for women and the cost to keep abreast is very high. Where free medical resources are available to many women, the cost to have breast surgery privately can range depending on the procedure.

*Data taken at a recent survey of approximate costs in TT Dollars at private hospitals.

  • Breast Implants – $20,000 to $50,000.00
  • Breast Reduction – $10,000 to $20,000.00
  • Mastectomy – $5000.00 to $15,000.00
  • Reconstruction – $20,000 to $50,000.00

Good News

In the Caribbean and in Trinidad and Tobago, there are a host of experienced and well qualified surgeons who perform these surgeries daily.

Bra Tips and Tit Bits©

Ms. Brafit has been actively involved in breast care and breast health in the Caribbean for over 12 years and has solutions for all women regardless of their medical situation or diagnosis.

Breasts are a sensitive topic which can consume many emotions.

In a society such as ours where breasts are over exposed for two days of carnival, many women are still afraid to do self examinations or to go for regular checks and frequently avoid the subject.

During carnival women expose their breasts to many dangers such as compression of breast tissue by wired bras and by ill-fitting bras, wearing more than one bra to support the costume, wearing fabrics that compromise skin, just to name a few.

Here are some vital tips from Ms. Brafit

  • Observe any changes in breast appearance or skin texture
  • Observe any temperature changes
  • Do monthly self examinations
  • Observe any suspicious nipple discharge
  • Wear comfortable bras
  • Discontinue usage of bras that give skin irritation
  • Change bras daily and launder frequently
  • Rotate bras in wardrobe
  • Review bras every six (6) to eight (8) months

Caring for our breasts can bring about a great level of self awareness which in turn can allow more comfort with seeking good advice and help when situations that are unfamiliar may arise.

About Us:

Ms. Brafit is a Caribbean born Breast Care and Lifestyle Company that was established in 2002 in Santa Cruz, Trinidad.

Ms. Brafit moved to Port of Spain in 2007 and provides retail services as well as educational seminars for corporate, youth and women’s groups.

Ms. Brafit Seminars include Comfort Matters Seminar Series © and Beauty Beyond the Bruises©.

Ms. Brafit’s publication Treatment Companion was first published in 2009. Second edition was published in 2010 and was sponsored by Guardian Life of the Caribbean and Guardian Holdings Limited.

Treatment Companion is available on

Beauty Beyond the Bruises© was created for women in treatment and is a full workshop for women who are diagnosed and in treatment.

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 This article was published in the May Edition of Health Scape in the South Scape Magazine