Photo courtesy of Corbis Image by: Photo courtesy of Corbis
|This story was originally titled "Marry-Go-Round" in the February 2015 issue. |
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Buying a bra when you're a C cup or larger doesn't have to be a nightmare if you know what brands cater to your ample curves. Check out our list of the best bra brands for larger sizes in every price range.
Not only is Addition Elle the fashion go-to for fuller-figured women but it also offers a selection of sleek and seductive bras. The bra sizes start at 38C and go up to 44H in some styles. What better place to get a bra than a company that knows all about how to hug curves? Addition Elle Flawless T-ser bra, $55, additionelle.com.
PrimaDonna has been designing bras for bigger busts since 1865—that’s more than 150 years of experience. The brand offers sizes ranging from B-cup to J-cup, with a collection that includes padded bras, underwire, pushups and minimizers. Not only do these bras provide amazing support but PrimaDonna also uses stunning designs and materials to make you feel sexy all the time. Prima Donna "Madison" full cup bra, $145, melmira.com.
Wacoal boasts superior quality, easy wear and elegant aesthetics. Most bras are available up to a G-cup, and there’s a fantastic selection of styles. Wacoal has a diffusion line, too, for its younger clientele, called B.tempt’d, offering fun and colourful varieties. Wacoal is the parent company of Elomi and Fantasie, which are considered exceptional labels for women with a larger bust. Wacoal "Awareness" soft cup bra, $82, nordstrom.com.
There’s no surprise that French designer Chantelle has some of the most beautiful patterns and shapes for bras. The brand creates an elegant collection of lingerie that lifts, separates and minimizes, depending on your needs. In any given season, Chantelle offers 165 styles exclusively for women with DD-cup breasts and above. Chantelle "Hedona" bra, $95, lineaintima.com.
This company prides itself on being “experts in comfort,” and when it comes to wearing a bra all day, comfort is of utmost importance. With more than 100 years of experience, Glamorise has perfected the fit of bras for larger breasts. The brand is also credited for inventing the first-ever sports bra, back in 1975. Glamorise Elegance satin and lace Wonderwire bra, $75, thebay.com.
In 1948, Simone Pérèle set out to liberate the female body from girdles and corsets by fusing comfort with chic designs. Most bras in the collection are available up to a G-cup and offer extra lift, thanks to vertical seams. Simone Pérèle "Wish" full cup bra, $139, lineaintima.com.
Based out of Germany, Rosa Faia has a designated section for larger breasts. The brand has a collection of well-loved basics and fancier fashion bras, complete with smooth lace, that reach up to an H-cup. Rosa Faia guarantees comfort with an ergonomically shaped underwire that also aids in support. Rosa Faia "Aurelia" seamless underwire bra, $92, anita.com.
Founded in Europe in the late 1800s, Triumph has had continued success developing comfortable and striking bras for women with varying breast sizes. Some of the brand’s cuts go up to an H-cup. In 2015, Triumph launched its “Find the One” campaign to help women find the right bra size. The company’s website hosts a questionnaire that will help you determine if you’re wearing the wrong size. Spoiler alert: You probably are. Triumph "1860" smooth-skin underwire bra, $50, thebay.com.
One of your first bras was probably by WonderBra, and if you haven’t checked out the company since, it may be time to revisit the brand. WonderBra offers cup sizes up to a DDD and varying support levels, depending on the cut. There’s an outstanding selection of styles, ranging from simple to ornate, to fit your lifestyle and price point. Using innovative fabrics, the bras won’t scratch or poke you, either. WonderBra "W4436" Breathable T-shirt Bra, $45, wonderbra.ca.
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This common succulent is known to be a great solution to relieve burns but did you know that it's toxic to both cats and dogs? Symptoms of aloe poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, tremors and a change in urine color. Typically, symptoms begin to show about six to twleve hours after ingesting but if you fear your fur baby has nibbled on some, don't wait—get peace of mind and seek medical assistance to avoid any further complications. How to curb food aggression in dogs
Calla lillies, although quite beautiful, contain insoluble crystals of calcium oxalate that are toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Symptoms of poisoning may be seen almost immediately and include pawing at face, drooling, foaming and vomiting. More severe symptoms include swelling of the lips, tongue, oral cavity and upper airway, making it difficult to breathe or swallow. In most cases where a pet eats a plant containing calcium oxalate, treatment can be managed at home by rinsing your pet's mouth thoroughly, but it's always best to seek medical advice from your vet.
This easy-to-grow houseplant contains a chemical that is toxic to cats and dogs. If consumed, your pet may experience mouth irritation, increased salivation, vomiting and difficulty swallowing. If you want to keep this plant in your home, be sure to store it in a place that is out of reach to ensure your pet's safety. How to keep your pet safe and healthy this summer
Hyacinth's toxicity is highly concentrated in the bulbs as oppose to the leaf and when ingested in large amounts, can result in problems for your pet. Depending on the amount ingested, symptoms can be moderate to severe and include irritation to the mouth and esophagus, profuse drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. In severe situations, symptoms range from increased heart rate to changes in respiration and difficulty breathing. If you fear your dog or cat has ingested hyacinths, contact your vet for treatment recommendations.
Like the calla lily, the satin pathos plant contains calcium oxalate. If massive amounts of plants containing this toxin are consumed, the symptoms become much more severe and include convulsions, renal failure, coma and death. It's possible for your pet to recover from severe calcium oxalate poisoning, but in most cases permanent liver and kidney damage will have already occurred. 8 ways to keep your dog healthy
Daffodils pose a danger to dogs and cats if ingested. Symptoms can include severe gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, low blood pressure, lethargy and kidney damage. There is no specific treatment or antidote for daffodil ingestion, but you can rinse any existing plant matter from your pet's mouth thoroughly to prevent further damage. If your pet's vomiting or diarrhea is extensive, take them to the vet.
The asparagus fern is another common houseplant and can be toxic to your dog and/or cat if ingested and can also cause minor skin irritation in pets with sensitive skin. Beware the berries, as they are more toxic to your pet than the foliage and thus cause more serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Since treatment is generally symptomatic, most pets will make a full recovery in 24 to 48 hours, but always consult with your veterinarian if you're concerned. 5 reasons you shouldn't declaw your cat
Tulips can signify that spring has finally sprung but that doesn't mean they're safe for your dog or cat to be around. If ingested, tulips can cause depression, severe vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling and loss of appetite. Induce vomiting and seek veterinary help.
This common houseplant is know for it's hard-to-kill properties and can not only cause vomiting and diarrhea if ingested, it can also cause skin irritation if your pet is exposed to it repeatedly. Keep the plant in an out-of-reach spot or in a room where you can close the door to keep your fur baby away.
This flowering shrub can do serious damage to your dog or cat depending on the amount consumed. Symptoms can vary from excessive drooling, sweating (nose and foot pads), vomiting, diarrhea and low blood pressure to more serious side effects such as total loss of coordination, severe muscular weakness, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, coma and possibly death. If a small amount is consumed by your pet, don't fret! The toxin found in azaleas is metabolized and excreted rapidly, so your pet will generally begin to feel better within hours and can make a full recovery in 24 hours. However, if large amounts are ingested, activated charcoal should be administered to your pet repeatedly on the first day. As always, consult your vet. 7 ways to cope with losing a pet
What women need to know about dense breasts Image by: svetikd
Having dense breasts increases your breast cancer risk and makes tumours harder to find. Doctors explain the puzzle behind this common condition.
Just when you thought you were up to speed on breast cancer risk factors, a new game changer has physicians and clinicians talking: dense breasts. Misunderstood and often incorrectly associated with bumpy, hard or occasionally sore breasts, dense tissue is more worrisome than you think.
What are dense breasts?
Your breasts are comprised of three types of tissue: fat, epithelium (the glands and ducts that produce milk) and stroma (supporting tissue). Breasts with a higher ratio of epithelium and stroma to fat are considered dense. According to Dr. Norman Boyd, senior scientist at the Campbell Family Cancer Research Institute at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, women with dense breasts have this tissue ratio for the majority of their adult lives. "The tissue develops in adolescence when the breasts form," he says. "Past the age of 40, it gradually decreases and is replaced by fat on average by about one percent every year." Once a woman reaches menopause, that natural decrease in density jumps to eight percent on average; however, some women still have dense breasts into their 60s and beyond.
Breast density is quite common. "It’s been estimated that approximately 50 percent of women have heterogeneously dense and/or extremely dense breast tissue," says Dr. Christine Wilson, medical director of the screening mammography program at the BC Cancer Agency. Risk factors that influence density include genetics (Dr. Boyd says that 60 percent of breast density variation can be ex plained by genes), delayed childbearing, combined estrogen/progesterone hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and a family history of breast cancer.
Dense breasts cannot be diagnosed by touch, appearance or symptoms of dis comfort. "Some women have really firm breasts that suggest that they may be dense, but we don’t know for sure until their breasts are viewed with mammography," says Dr. Ruth Heisey, chief of the department of family and community medicine at Women’s College Hospital and a GP oncologist specializing in breast diseases at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. A clinician who spots what appears to be excessive density during screening mammography may call you back for further examination if it is also accompanied by symptoms such as a lump or pain. "We don’t want to miss something that we can’t see on the mammogram," says Dr. Wilson. Each province and territory operates under different protocols. Most centres may follow up with a breast ultrasound, while some will turn to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out hidden cancers. If they’re following current mammography guidelines in Canada, many women won’t know that they have this problem until they go for their first mammogram at age 50.
Surprising health risks
If healthy breasts can be bumpy and hard, why does excessive density matter? There are several reasons. "Women with density of 75 percent or more of the breast have a risk of breast cancer that is four or five times higher than that of women of the same age who have little or no density," says Dr. Boyd. "And breast density is a much stronger risk factor than family history of breast cancer, which is twice that of women without a family history." The only factor that’s a larger risk for breast cancer is if you carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.
Not only does density increase your risk, but it makes tumours more difficult to spot. Mammography X-rays can easily pass through fat, but have difficulty penetrating dense epithelium tissue. To the trained clinician examining the mammogram, dense tissue and tumours both appear white on the X-ray, making it tricky to differentiate between healthy and cancerous breast tissue.
There are currently two proven strategies to reduce density. "If somebody is taking combined HRT featuring both estrogen and progesterone, density will lessen slightly if she stops it," says Dr. Boyd. "The other strategy is the drug tamoxifen, which can reduce density, but it can increase the risk of blood clots going to the lungs, so it’s not something that everyone wants to take." Not all women with dense breasts can take advantage of these two strategies, so research is ongoing to uncover alternative solutions.
Dr. Caroline Diorio, an assistant professor in the department of social and preventative medicine at Université Laval in Quebec, is currently researching ways that lifestyle changes can alter breast density. Her latest study, published in June and funded by grants from the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, found an association between high-sugar diets and increased breast density in pre- and postmenopausal women. "I cannot say that [sugar] is causing an increase in breast density, but women who eat more sweet foods seem to have a higher density than women who eat less," she says. "I believe if we change our habits, we can reduce our density, but we need more studies to prove it."
Dr. Diorio also published a study in January on the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. "My study suggests that post- menopausal women who consumed higher intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, found mostly in fish, had less dense breasts." Her 2005 study also showed an association between an increased intake of vitamin D and calcium, and lower density readings in premenopausal women. While these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to confirm results and provide guidance on how to adopt these lifestyle changes.
Making proactive changes could reduce your risk of breast cancer "Maintaining a healthy weight, drinking no more than one alcoholic drink per day on average, taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily, and exercising regularly have been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer risk," says Dr. Heisey.
While the chances of cancer are greater for women with dense breasts, it doesn’t guarantee you will develop the disease. "I view it like knowing that you have relatives with breast cancer," says Dr. Boyd. "There’s nothing you can do to change your relatives, but what does that knowledge do? It may increase your awareness, so if anything changes in the breast, you’re more likely to have it investigated, by medical experts at and it may encourage you to take steps to reduce your risk."