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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Some people don't think women should seek breast reconstruction after cancer treatment - those are the ones who don't care anything about us and don't understand the principle of returning what the devil took away - 

Jer 30:17
For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after.

Breast Reconstruction in Atlanta & Marietta

What is breast reconstruction in Atlanta?Breast Reconstruction in Atlanta & Marietta

Breast reconstruction in Marietta & Atlanta is surgery for women who have had their breast removed, usually due to breast cancer. Our goal in breast reconstruction is to rebuilds a natural looking breast that resembles the opposite breast in size and shape. The nipple and the darker area around the nipple (areola) can also be added. We now offer Nipple Sparing and Skin Sparing Mastectomy reconstruction for Marietta & Atlanta women who qualify. Most women who have had a mastectomy can have reconstruction. Women who have had only the part of the breast around the cancer removed (lumpectomy) may also need reconstruction. We believe that there is life after breast cancer.
Every woman has a right to breast reconstruction. This is now a federal mandate and insurance companies are required to cover breast reconstruction after mastectomy. There is no age limitation for breast reconstruction and there are multiple reconstructive options available. There is no single procedure that is best for everyone; the best option will become clear after detailed discussion with Dr Okoro. He has tremendous experience with all the options of breast reconstruction.
Today, more women with breast cancer choose surgery that removes only part of the breast tissue. This may be called breast conservation surgery, lumpectomy, or segmental mastectomy. But some women have a mastectomy, which means the entire breast is removed. Many women choose reconstructive surgery to rebuild the shape and look of the breast.

Why have breast reconstruction in Marietta or Atlanta?

  • to make their breasts look balanced when they are wearing a bra
  • to permanently regain their breast shape
  • to reconstruct deformed breast from surgery or trauma
  • to avoid the use of an external prosthesis
  • to improve body image and self esteem

What are the results like?

If you have bilateral mastectomy, the results usual are similar. If you have one sided mastectomy, you will be able to see the difference between the reconstructed breast and the remaining breast when you are nude. But when you are wearing a bra, the breasts should be alike enough in size and shape that you will feel comfortable about how you look in most types of clothes.

Immediate or delayed breast reconstruction

Immediate breast reconstruction is done at the same time as the mastectomy. An advantage to this is that the chest tissues are not damaged by radiation therapy or scarring. This often means that the final result looks better. Also, immediate reconstruction means less surgery.
After the first surgery, there still may be a number of steps that are needed to complete the immediate reconstruction process. If you are planning to have immediate reconstruction, be sure to ask what will need to be done afterward and how long it will take.
Delayed breast reconstruction means that the rebuilding is started later. This may be a better choice for some women who need radiation to the chest area after the mastectomy. Radiation therapy given after breast reconstruction surgery can cause problems. Some women do not want to think about reconstruction while coping with a diagnosis of cancer. If this is the case, you may choose to wait until after your breast cancer surgery to decide about reconstruction

Types of breast reconstruction

Several types of operations can be done to reconstruct your breast. You can have a newly shaped breast with the use of a breast implant, your own tissue flap, or a combination of the two. (A tissue flap is a section of your own skin, fat, and muscle which is moved from your tummy, back, or other area of your body to the chest area.) Dr. Okoro has extensive experience with all of the options of breast reconstruction including nipple sparing and skin sparing mastectomy reconstruction.

Tissue flap reconstruction involves transferring a woman’s own tissues to her missing breast, usually to avoid an implant or replace damaged, radiated tissue. Tissue is commonly relocated are from the abdomen (TRAM flap, DEIP), back (lat dorsi flap), or buttocks area (S-GAP flap). Many patients and doctors find that flap reconstruction outcomes look and feel more natural, despite the added scars and healing time. Dr Okoro has a has performed many of these procedures and is well experienced.
DIEP ((deep inferior epigastric artery perforator) flap reconstruction, a newer type of flap procedure, uses fat and skin from the same area as in the TRAM flap but does not use the muscle to form the breast mound. This results in less skin and fat in the lower belly (abdomen), or a “tummy tuck.” This method uses a free flap, meaning that the tissue is completely cut free from the tummy and then moved to the chest area. This requires the use of a microscope (microsurgery) to connect the tiny vessels. The procedure takes longer than the TRAM pedicle flap discussed above.

The latissimus dorsi flap moves muscle and skin from your upper back when extra tissue is needed. The flap is made up of skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels. It is tunneled under the skin to the front of the chest. This creates a pocket for an implant, which can be used for added fullness to the reconstructed breast. Though it is not common, some women may have weakness in their back, shoulder, or arm after this surgery.

Nipple and areola reconstruction

You can decide if you want to have your nipple and the dark area around the nipple (areola) reconstructed. Nipple and areola reconstructions are optional and usually the final phase of breast reconstruction. This is a separate surgery that is done to make the reconstructed breast look more like the original breast. It can be done as an outpatient after drugs are used to make the area numb (under local anesthesia). It is usually done after the new breast has had time to heal (about 3 to 4 months after surgery). A tattoo may be used to match the color of the nipple of the other breast and to create the areola.
It is common to get a second opinion before having any surgery. Breast reconstruction and even mastectomy are not emergencies. It is more important for you to make the right decisions based on the correct information than to act quickly before you know all your options before surgery.

Planning your surgery

You can start talking about reconstruction as soon as you know you have breast cancer. You will want your breast surgeon and Dr Okoro to work together to come up with the best possible plan for reconstruction.  After reviewing your medical history and overall health, your surgeon will explain which reconstructive options are best for you based on your age, health, body type, lifestyle, and goals. Talk with your surgeon openly about what you expect. Dr. Okoro will be frank with you when explaining the risks and benefits of each option. Dr Okoro will also explain what to expect before and after surgery.  Health insurance policies often cover most or all of the cost of reconstruction after a mastectomy. Check your policy to make sure you are covered.  Almost any woman who must have her breast removed because of cancer can have reconstructive surgery. Certain risks go along with any surgery, and reconstruction may have certain unique problems for some people.

Can breast reconstruction hide cancer, or cause it to come back?

Studies show that reconstruction does not make breast cancer come back. If the cancer does come back, reconstructed breasts should not cause problems with chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
If you are thinking about breast reconstruction, either with an implant or flap, you need to know that reconstruction rarely, if ever, hides a return of breast cancer. You should not consider this a big risk when deciding to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Other Protocols Combined with GTFC

The vast majority of cancer clinics toss out chemotherapy as the one and only form of treatment coupled with radiation. Our group has furthered the protocols to include treatment to boost the body's natural defenses, so the GTFC is more effective. These protocols include a host of integrative, specialized treatment steps developed by our team to enhance patient healing. In our clinical experience, helping slow down these epigenetic environmental factors are what truly impact cancer mutations, growth and spread. Those therapies involve:
  • Immunotherapy – State of the art forms of immunotherapy to rebuild a patient's immune system. After all, the immune system is the first and last defense against any disease. By strengthening these defense systems, it makes it easier for treatments such as chemotherapy to be effective, in our experience. This is especially important when patients have infections and chemical toxins at the root of their cancer. Immunotherapy can function independent of genetic changes. Read more about immunotherapy here.
  • Nutrition therapy – Modern food is pumped full of preservatives, toxins, GMOs and other horrible things that can severely impact one's health and in some cases, may even lead to cancer. An important alternative is organic and healthy foods that are immune-supportive. However, cancer patients have numerous deficiencies caused by the cancer itself, not to mention the chemotherapy and/or radiation. Intravenous nutrition, guided by detailed testing, is vital for energy and recovery. Read more about nutrition therapy and proper dieting here.
  • Chronic inflammation therapy – Chronic inflammation has been well-recognized as a cause of cancers for a long time. However, agents that cause chronic inflammation not only cause cancers, but also impact its growth, signaling and spread.
  • Oxidative Medicine – Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg famously hypothesized "…the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar," meaning, cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen. Today's modern cancer cell biology has shown he was on the right track as mitochondrial health and shifting to a more oxygen-rich environment may protect healthy cells and further neuter cancer cells.

- See more here, cut and past, the entire article and additional information:

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Why Are 70% Of Cancer Patients Unresponsive to Chemotherapy Treatments?

This is a very important research finding.  Essentially, they state the importance of individualized treatment plans. Chemotherapy treatment does not work for everyone. I am a prime example, after going through two chemotherapy treatment plans, the surgeon and oncologist told me that it did not work. I lost my hair and the tumor was not affected.


What is Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy?
Major discoveries in the cancer world are pointing toward more personalized methods for treating cancer, giving a better explanation and solution as to why only a small percentage of people respond satisfactorily to chemotherapy treatments.

In this article, we'll explore the new science and important application of translational cancer genomics and epigenetics in a unique integrative medical setting and how this information can help patients and clinicians alike attain much more personalized cancer treatment plan.

Genetic Research Sparks Hope of Cancer Breakthrough

The Scientific Consensus on a Genetically Targeted Future

The scientific understanding of cancer cell biology has continued to improve as better ways of targeting cancer cells are found through genetic information, the individual expressions of cancer cells and the microenvironment around the cancer cells themselves. Our team has spent over a decade bringing more personalized integrative cancer treatment application to help our patients target cancer cells, while supporting their overall health and energy.
Researchers have discovered numerous biomarkers and molecular changes that occur within a person's cancer genetics that can be used to better target treatment. In addition, studies have shown that two people with the same tissue type of cancer and staging may respond to treatment differently based on their own individual parameters. This is one major reason that people respond differently to the same treatment and even have different side effects to the same treatments. This application is vastly different than what is being practiced in most hospitals and cancer centers.

At the world famous Cell Symposia: Hallmarks of Cancer, that took place in San Francisco in 2012, numerous presenters made it very clear that the way forward in curing cancer is understanding each person's cancer cell biology via genetic and molecular profiling.[1] This symposium included talking points from Robert Kruger, Deputy Editor at Cell, Lynda Chin of MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Sandra Horning of Genentech, Richard Gilbertson of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Bob Weinberg of Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. - 

The Science Behind Our Solutions

This vastly differs from the current chemotherapy approach being used by cancer institutes and hospitals elsewhere. This soon-to-be outdated methodology has been around since President Nixon declared his War on Cancer in the '70s. Yet four decades and billions of dollars later, we're relatively no better off in treating metastatic cancers, especially when compared to other developments made in other areas of medicine during the same time periods.

Improvement in cancer survival has come mainly from early detection and surgical removal in early stages of certain cancers (breast, prostate and colon), however whenever spread is involved with advanced metastatic cancer, the old or rather current chemotherapy practices are not much more effective at aiming for long-term remissions, dare we say cure. The War on Cancer has had several of the same challenges for decades, including difficulty:
  • Reforming the clinical trials system, including reducing costs and including better designed and more complete studies to review a multi-step approaches to improving quality of life and lengthen of overall life for each patients. Many of these new blockbuster drugs only increase survival for a few months with poor quality of life.
  • Readjusting the drug approval and regulation processes and reducing costs. It takes about $1 billion dollars currently to produce a new cancer agent and many are stopped in stage two of the process.
  • Improving cancer treatment and prevention. Many existing chemotherapy drugs have been shelved due to political and legal reasons. Agents may have not have worked in one type of cancer trial, but paired with genetic and molecular profiling it could be helpful for some patients. Unfortunately, we'll never know because the results aren't given much room to improve.
  • Formulating new, more specific and science-based approaches toward impacting the epigenetic environment around cancer cells. Epigenetic refers to the substances that influence or cause cancer growth, cancer mutation or resistance.
  • With all these new biomarkers and molecular profiling discoveries, there lacks better ongoing monitoring and testing through our treatment process as cancer cells become resistant to treatment and even mutate. This is making it very necessary to personalize treatment.

Additional Background on Cancer Growth and Chemotherapy

Having translational cancer genomics, biomarkers and molecular profiles is like having the blueprints to better treat the patient and provide a much better way forward. Chemotherapy treatments, both presently and in the past, have focused solely on the location of the tumor, tissue pathology and staging, but the future of research and our group included focuses on the genetic typing and molecular profiling of the tumor, giving the patient a much needed edge.

Cancer cells are constantly mutating and becoming more resistant to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Studies suggest that every tumor and possibly even different cancer cells within the same patient can be genetically different, expressing different biomarkers and responding to treatments differently.

One of the main reasons for this heterogeneity of cancer cells is the ever-important epigenetic environment around the cancer cells that may contribute to mutation and uncontrolled growth. In a nutshell, cancer cell biology illustrates that successful cancer treatment is like trying to hit multiple moving targets at once. However, there is hope; our experience has shown that a multi-step approach including GTFC may provide helpful options to patients.

Most people have a general understanding of chemotherapy, but for the purposes of this article, let's review. Cancer is when your body's cells begin uncontrolled, unchecked growth that is malignant; it is caused by a mix of environmental toxins, infectious agents leading to chronic inflammation and genetic mutations. In fact, these mutations can continue throughout the evolution of the cancer. Chemotherapy is a treatment for cancer using cytotoxic chemicals (poisonous to living cells) and other drugs.

Typically, the problems with high-dose and protocol-driven chemotherapy treatments are the many adverse side effects, which depends on the type of medication used. These side effects become worse when combination of drugs are given to help reduce resistance from cancer cells, but it can often times increase toxicity in the patient. This explains why some chemo drugs work for some, but don't work for others. In fact, it has been proven that chemotherapy increases survival only slightly over 2% in late-stage cancers for five-year survival.[2]

In the end, there is no way of knowing where these chemotherapy agents are going to work at all or if the cancer is going to come back even worse. Some of the most common side effects include:
  • A weakened immune system, which may lead to caecitis, also known as typhlitis, which is inflammation of the large intestine.
  • A stronger tendency to bleed or bruise.
  • Gastrointestinal distress, especially nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and constipation, which can lead to dehydration and malnutrition.
  • Fatigue, as the treatment can be physically exhausting for the patient, especially when coupled with cancer-related fatigue.
  • May contribute to muscle atrophy, or muscle thinning.
  • Hair loss, which is superficial, but can lead to low self-esteem, poor self-image and depression.
These side effects might be tolerable if you knew it was a once and done thing, but that is not at all the reality for patients. It's important that we step up our efforts to help patients.

Most cancer centers and hospitals have adopted a "let the patient die in dignity" attitude, but our group is passionate about helping patients live with dignity. That's why we've been spending over a decade developing what we call the most comprehensive approach. In that approach, we can utilize GTFC (genetically targeted fractionated chemotherapy).

1Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy

Most cancer clinics have a "one-size fits all" approach to cancers, but because each tumor is unique (based on specific genetics in the cancer itself, markers on the surface of cancer cells and epigenetic environment around the cancer cells toxins, infections, deficiencies and inflammation factors that cause cancers to spread and mutate) this approach fails to answer the bigger question.

That's where Genetically Targeted Fractionated Chemotherapy comes in. In short, GTFC is an advanced form of chemotherapy that applies molecular profiles, genetic typing and targeted treatment, providing patients with much needed alternatives. This method allows us to use multiple drugs in lower dosages to help reduce resistance, enhance targeting and improve overall treatment.

GTFC sessions are also shorter and use lower-dosages. Therefore, GTFC is much less taxing on your body. When combined with targeted immunotherapy and nutritional therapy, patients that utilize GTFC often claim they have more energy and feel healthier compared to the standard methods used.

It's fair to say that this technology is still in its infancy and getting better all the time, but if you ask patients like Nicole Sanko, she'll tell you it was a lifesaver. It was this approach coupled with a complete treatment protocol that brought her into remission in late-stage endometrial adenocarcinoma. It's worth noting some patients were hospice-bound, being told to go home and die, but have now enjoyed a longer and better quality of life.

- See more at:


Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:55
How Obesity May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
How Obesity May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
TEHRAN (FNA)- Women who have a certain genetic marker may be at increased risk for breast cancer, especially if they are overweight or obese, a new study suggested.
In the study, white women with the genetic marker were nearly 70 percent more likely to have breast cancercompared to those without the marker.

And if women were overweight or obese and had the marker, their risk of breast cancer increased by 210 percent, compared with those who did not have the marker, the study found. The marker is found within a gene called mTOR, according to the study.

Weight loss is likely a good way to reduce breast cancer risk in general, said study researcher Ting-Yuan David Cheng, a research assistant professor at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. If the new findings are confirmed by future studies, researchers may one day be able to screen for this genetic marker to identify women for which weight losswould be even more important in preventing breast cancer, Cheng said.

The marker appeared to especially increase the risk of a type of breast cancer called estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, which generally does not respond to hormonal breast cancer treatments. White women who were overweight or obese and had the genetic marker were eight times more likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer than those who did not have the marker.

The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect breast cancer risk, such as age, smoking and a family history of breast cancer.
The results suggest that being overweight or obese may promote breast cancer through variations in this gene, the researchers said.
Previous studies have shown that obesity increases the risk of breast cancer for women after menopause.

The new study involved about 1,300 white women and 1,300 black women living in New York and New Jersey. About half of the women within each ethnic group had breast cancer. The women ranged from 20 to 75 years old, and nearly half had been through menopause. Women were considered overweight or obese if they had a BMI of 25 or greater.

A marker within the mTOR gene increased the risk of breast cancer for white women, but not for black women, suggesting that the effect of this marker varies by ethnicity.

The mTOR gene is involved in cell growth and blood-vessel formation, which are both important for cancer growth. The gene can be active by excess energy intake, or taking in more calories than you need, Cheng said.

The finding "makes sense, because, if the gene is regulated by energy intake, and women who are obese tend to have excess energy intake, then that's going to signal the gene," which promotes cancer growth, Cheng said.

The findings were presented this week at the meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I have been searching for a diet, or life style change, that included foods that would effectively deal with my new life and body changes. I searched many plans, such as Atkins, Weight Watchers, and others plus science and nutrition texts before finding Whole30. As a result of this plan I have cut out these foods from my diet - soy lecithin, sugar, grains, dairy and legumes.

Soy is particularly pertinent (see )

A compound of soy lecithin, phytoestrogen, can produce effects on the body similar to the hormone estrogen. Soy phytoestrogens may promote an increased risk of breast cancer in adult women by altering or decreasing natural estrogen, although the direct link to cancer is inconclusive. One study reported by Cornell University examined 28 women receiving soy supplements for six months. The women were found to have an increased growth of milk ducts in their breasts, which is a leading forerunner of cancer, according to the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors in New York State. Conclusions suggest that premenopausal women may be at greatest risk, but further research is needed.

What is the Whole30?

Established by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig (of Whole9) in April 2009, the Whole30® is our original nutritional program designed to change your life in 30 days. Think of it as a short-term nutritional reset, designed to help you put an end to unhealthy cravings and habits, restore a healthy metabolism, heal your digestive tract, and balance your immune system.

Certain food groups (like sugar, grains, dairy and legumes) could be having a negative impact on your health and fitness without you even realizing it. Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent? Do you have aches and pains that can’t be explained by over-use or injury? Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try? Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn’t helped? These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat—even the “healthy” stuff.

So how do you know if (and how) these foods are affecting you? Strip them from your diet completely. Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health

- See more at:

Sunday, February 2, 2014


It has been three years since the diagnosis of breast cancer.

From the beginning, God has been in control and I have trusted Him.

My oncologist, Dr. Tran, told me a few weeks ago, as she tried to determine what hormone inhibiter to prescribe, that the chemotherapy that I took before my mastectomy and after, had no effect on the tumor.

 In effect I lost my hair for nothing. So I am here today not because of anything the doctors did, but it was all God.

God was there with me through it all. I don't remember any unusual pain or discomfort during any of the many treatments. I was stuck, radiated, cut up, and prodded, but I just saw it as something that I had to go through. "Through" is the operative word.


Deuteronomy 31:6

The Message (MSG)
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”












L                                                            LIFE IS GOOD,
                               GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD,
                              I TRUST AND LEAN ON HIM

#breast cancer survival #AfricanAmericanwomen #victory

Wednesday, August 28, 2013




By Dr. Wilma J. Johnson, MSW, Ed.D.

Knowing who you are in Christ...

     We will explore who you are in Christ and learn what it means to have your self concept based on who God says you are. Self concept can be loosely defined as a person's view of themselves. How they 'see' themselves. This will in turn determine how you act and behave and how you relate to others. It is not based on what you do (job, successes or defeats in life), and it is not in pleasing other people, or in other people's opinions of you. It is based on accepting who God says you are, and seeing yourself as God sees you. This begins by accepting His truths, and rejecting the lies of the devil.
     Many people may feel a sense of hopelessness about themselves, their relationships, and about life in general. Regardless of how they are loved and treated by others, regardless of how many Bible studies, church services, conferences, or counseling sessions they participate in, or how many times they go down to the altar in response to invitations from preachers; they may still have negative beliefs that will decide how they respond to love and truth. There are many reasons for this state, which could include family background or past experiences.
     God's light must penetrate down to our deepest beliefs about ourselves. This could possibly be a very painful experience when we admit that we do feel negatively about ourselves and we then allow God's light and truth shine on how we see ourselves. This will take time, it has taken possibly years to develop negative habits, but God's love, expressed through His people, His Spirit and His Word, can bring healing to our deepest hurts and give us an appropriate sense of self-worth.
     God created us, He knows how we are made, and He knows what we need. Trust Him.
Repeat the following affirmations daily, look up the accompanying scriptures, and pray for openness and honesty before God as you accept these truths of who God says you are.

-I am blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)
-I am chosen by You, my Father (Ephesians 1:4)
-I am Your child according to the good pleasure of Your will. (Ephesians 1:5)
-I am an heir. (Ephesians 1:11 & Romans 8:17)
-I am saved by Your grace. (Ephesians 2:5)
-I am Your workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10)
-I am a citizen of heaven. (2:19)
((Whether or not we feel it is true, we still need to believe it. Jesus is the truth, the Holy Spirit is truth,and the Word is truth, so we should speak the truth in love. The Bondage Breaker, by Neil Anderson))                                                                  

Article Source:,_MSW,_Ed.D.