I am happy to welcome you to our site. I am a two-time breast cancer survivor. My first diagnosis was Triple Negative, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. It was successfully treated with a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Five years later, I was diagnosed with a new primary, meaning a new cancer totally unrelated to the first, in the opposite breast. This time it was Invasive Lobular Carcinoma and hormone sensitive. I had a bilateral, skin sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction, nine months of chemo, radiation and all the other things that go along with breast cancer.
When I was first diagnosed in 2001, all I wanted was to find a woman to say to me, "I have been through everything you are about to go through and I made it and I am OK." Now, all these years later, I am that woman here for you. I have taken my experience and put it into this website to help you through your journey.
I created the Website and Message Forum to help you through the maze of your diagnosis, treatment, and living your life during treatment and after it is all over, because there IS life after breast cancer!
Keep checking the website for updates. It is full of information about your diagnosis, chemo and surgical options and the latest clinical trial results. So, make yourself comfortable, grab some time and take a look at all we have to offer you.
Our message is a simple one: Through knowledge and shared experience we can get through this together. Those of us who have walked the path you are about to embark upon will take you through each step of the way. In turn, all we ask is that when you become a veteran and this is all behind you, pass it on to another newly diagnosed woman. Pass on the message to never give in, never, ever surrender and to fight your disease with everything you have. By learning as much as you can about your disease you will become a better patient and your own best advocate. With cancer, knowledge is not only power, it is a matter of survival.
Above all, remember that there is HOPE. There are millions of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer living normal lives now. You are not a statistic. You are not a milk carton and you do not come with an expiration date. You have the power within yourself to find the best treatments, to use whatever you need to cope to get you through them and you have sisters, all across the world by your side, right here on this site.
I am not going to tell you it is walk in the park, but I will tell you that you will surprise yourself at how very strong you truly are. And if you doubt it, we will be happy to remind you.
Women survive this disease and go back to their lives. A breast cancer diagnosis is not the end. It is the beginning of a fight, a fight that you have every possibility of WINNING.
More About Our Founder, Gina Maisano
Founder, Gina Maisano, creates non-toxic skin care line to help ease side effects patients endure as a result from chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After three years in development with a botanical chemist, Bétèrre launched to rave reviews.
Everyone wanted the spa-like, gentle formulas that are nature based and effective for all skin types. Bétèrre Skin+Care has become a must have among beauty editors, health conscious women and young moms because the non-toxic formulas contain no cancer causing ingredients or toxins that can alter hormones.
What started as a way to ease her own side effects during her two bouts with breast cancer and then was shared with her fellow survivors, is quickly becoming the new way to beautiful skin, the Bétèrre way!
People Magazine Features Bétèrre Skin Care in its beauty article for breast cancer patients as
safe, non-t0xic products you can trust.
Intimacy After Breast Cancer was written by Gina Maisano for the patient who has completed all her treatments and now must rebuild her life emotionally, physically and sexually. A must read for all women, married or single and to share with their partners.
Available on Amazon
"Intimacy After Breast Cancer" was named the top choice at the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium.
From Publisher's Weekly
Maisano, founder of the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, examines the delicate personal side of reconnecting after the trauma of breast cancer. Writing in a straightforward, conversational style, Maisano leverages her hard-won firsthand knowledge to create an informative and supportive guide for women in the process of reclaiming their sexuality, post-treatment.
Presented in two parts, the book begins with issues related to healing the body and mind. As cancer survivors shift from fighting for their lives to planning for the future, Maisano illustrates the pros and cons of treatment options. A two-time breast cancer survivor herself, she assembles personal stories and explains complex procedures with welcome frankness and humor: "All this will mean a farewell to the ovaries and a baptism by hot flash into the world of sudden menopause."
In Part Two, the author takes a close look at sexuality and intimacy after treatment, offering up-to-date information, nonjudgmental support, and healing exercises for women as they recover in their own unique ways and face individual challenges on the road to health.
This book will be vital to women who find themselves in the process of healing, and to all the people who care for them. (Jun)
From Library Journal
"Breast cancer survivors have a great deal to celebrate, but they may feel alone, worried that they are no longer attractive, and depressed by the changes that surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy bring to their bodies, all of which may affect their relationships and sex lives.
Although health-care professionals prepare patients for treatments, they often fail to address the resulting emotional and sexual issues. Maisano—two-time breast cancer survivor and founder of the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, which provides support for women coping with post-therapy issues—fills this void. She first examines the practical aspects of dealing with the body after treatment: changes in the breasts, chemically induced menopause, hair loss, pain, and lymphedema. She discusses alternative and traditional drug treatments, nutrition and supplements, exercise, and cosmetic surgery. She then addresses the emotional factors—fear of recurrence, feeling unattractive, anxiety, and worry about sexual relationships—and offers frank and compassionate advice for both single and married women about overcoming these problems, and she shares stories of women who have succeeded.
VERDICT: An excellent book that fills a gap in breast cancer collections.—Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L."
Patient of Courage
Founder, Gina Maisano, was recently awarded 2012 Patient of Courage by the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in New Orleans. Gina was honored for her work she has done for women across the world through the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, and through her book, Intimacy After Breast Cancer.
She is also a spokesperson for BRAday, the Breast Reconstruction Awareness program spearheaded by the ASPS to inform women of their reconstruction options.
First Time All Honorees Are Breast Reconstruction Patients
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Oct. 9, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For the first time, all five recipients of the annual Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity awards are breast reconstruction patients. These patients from across the country will receive their awards from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and Mentor Worldwide LLC. In celebration of the first annual Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day USA, this year's awards recognize breast cancer patients who have undergone breast reconstruction and use their experiences to help other women facing breast cancer and mastectomy. The awards will be presented during Plastic Surgery The Meeting, ASPS' annual scientific conference, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on October 26.
"Our Patients of Courage are an annual reminder of the strength of the human spirit," said ASPS President Malcolm Z. Roth, MD. "The group of women honored this year represent the tenacity of women everywhere who battle breast cancer, survive it, then go on to help and inspire their mothers, sisters, and strangers to beat it too."
The Patients of Courage: Triumph Over Adversity awards recognize inspirational reconstructive plastic surgery patients who use their experiences, strength and determination to help others in need and give back to their communities through charitable work.
"This year's award recipients have demonstrated amazing resilience in the face of adversity. That resilience and willingness to share their stories provides inspiration to the thousands of women and men who face similar challenges every day," said David Wilson, Worldwide President, Mentor Worldwide LLC. "Mentor has a long history of supporting breast cancer patients as they navigate the decision-making process following a cancer diagnosis. We feel privileged to be able to contribute to their healing process and provide options to fully restore their authentic beauty."
Continuing in the spirit of giving, The Plastic Surgery Foundation, with the support of Mentor, is donating $5,000 to five non-profit organizations to be named by each of the Patients of Courage.
The 2012 Patients of Courage honorees are:
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons. Representing more than 7,000 Member Surgeons, the Society is recognized as a leading authority and information source on aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. ASPS comprises more than 94 percent of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the United States. Founded in 1931, the Society represents physicians certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery or The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. ASPS advances quality care to plastic surgery patients by encouraging high standards of training, ethics, physician practice and research in plastic surgery. You can learn more and visit the American Society of Plastic Surgeons at PlasticSurgery.org or Facebook.com/PlasticSurgeryASPS and Twitter.com/ASPS_News.