Best Self Atlanta 1015

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besttself Atlanta’s “go-to” guide for health, beauty and happy living!

October 2015


Sweat in Style Our top 10 picks for fitness wear! p. 38

EXPERT CONNECT Try Testosterone Therapy

By Beth Seemann p. 42

Breaking Down Breast Cancer

By Sandra L. Gregory, MD p. 43

Botox for Depression

By Sheila Namanworth, DMD p. 44

A Team Approach to Skin Cancer

By Adam Perry, MD p. 45

Tracy Nicole

Local breast cancer survivor finds fulfillment in fashion p. 62

The Turning Point

After cancer, Jill Binkley helps women return to a thriving life p. 25 PROFILE

Dr. Assia Stepanian helps women with minimally invasive surgery p.51

Natural Health Leads to Vitality By Debra MacIntyre, ND p. 46

Identity Theft

By Laura K. Schilling, JD, CPA, CFP®, CSA p. 47

A Coordinated Approach to Cancer Care

By Pierson Gladney, MD p. 48

Bella by Alethea MedSpa

By Alethea Tinkle p. 49 MEET ALL OF THIS MONTH’S EXPERTS ON P. 8

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Life After

Breast Cancer

With a little extra care, it can be beautiful p. 33 9/23/15 9:31 AM

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Best Self Atlanta magazine uses soy-based ink and is printed on 100 percent recyclable paper. Our print partner, Newpoint Media Group, recycles all excess paper, printing plates and any other recyclable materials used in the printing process.

Inquiries and submissions regarding advertising and editorial should be directed to the address above. Best Self Atlanta does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor does Publisher assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. Readers are encouraged to notify Publisher when they suspect false advertising. Best Self Atlanta reserves the right to edit editorial for clarity and space availability. No content i.e. articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from Publisher.

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9/23/15 9:30 AM

contents OCTOBER 2015

Sweat in Style

With the right workout clothes, you’ll reach your fitness goals faster p. 38

PROFILE Dr. Assia Stepanian is changing her patients’ experience with better surgery options p.51

Life After Breast Cancer


Treatment is over, but survivors still have ongoing opportunities for recovery

Photo courtesy of Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by Nyssa Green, The Green Room Agency

The Turning Point

After cancer, Jill Binkley helps women return to a thriving life p. 25

In every issue 10 From the Editor

20 Best Fun

13 Best Advice

22 Best Bites

14 Best Bulletin

55 Best Fitness

Life After

Women’s Health: Beyond the Checkups The scoop on what’s new around town

Our ideas for enjoying life Healthy and tasty ideas to nourish your body Fitness tips, a fun bike helmet brand and more

16 Best Rx

56 Best Beauty

19 Best Books

60 Give-Back Guide

Atlanta doctors answer your health questions Read Southern fiction, a memoir about mental health, and attend visiting author events this month



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A new local skin care line, the beauty benefits of apples and more Charity profiles and volunteer opportunities for this month and beyond

My Best Self

Local designer Tracy Nicole finds fulfillment in fashion after her breast cancer journey p. 62

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Thank You


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expert connect

Health, beauty and life enrichment topics brought to you by Atlanta experts Try Testosterone Therapy By Beth Seemann

Regain the energy, stamina and vigor of your youth by balancing your hormones with InShapeMD. p. 42

Botox for Depression

By Sheila Namanworth, DMD According to recent research, Botox injections can lift your face and boost your mood. Find out more from the Institute for Advanced Medical Research. p. 44

Breaking Down Breast Cancer

By Sandra L. Gregory, MD Dr. Gregory from Atlanta Oncology Associates reviews the risk factors, screenings and treatment options. p. 43

A Team Approach to Skin Cancer By Adam Perry, MD

Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center and Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center bring specialized knowledge and a team spirit to skin cancer treatment. p. 45

Identity Theft

Natural Health Leads to Vitality

By Debra MacIntyre, ND Naturopathic medical practice Natural Health Solutions has a new name to reflect their ultimate goal: vitality for their clients. p. 46

A Coordinated Approach to Cancer Care


By Laura K. Schilling, JD, CPA, CFP®, CSA The statistics show identity theft plaguing American households – avoid it with these tips from Financial Innovations, LLC. p. 47

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Kaiser Permanente’s Breast Care Center takes a collaborative approach to cancer treatment and beyond. p. 48

New team members help Bella by Alethea achieve the same great anti-aging results they’re known for. p. 49


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Free eBook!

from the editor Life After

When breast cancer turns someone’s life upside down, all the focus naturally goes to the day when, after months or even years of treatment, the scans and tests find no evidence of cancer. But after a journey like that, there’s even more healing that needs to happen. After the cancer is gone, many people still need to give attention to their emotional health, their physical rehabilitation after surgery and other parts of their lives that cancer touched. Our feature “Life After Breast Cancer” (p. 33) explores those topics for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We’ve also profiled Jill Binkley, the founder of local rehab center TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, who herself is a breast cancer survivor and shining example of how beautiful life can be after breast cancer (p. 25). This idea of “life after” is a celebratory one after cancer, but a bittersweet one when it comes to careers. This is my last issue as editor of Best Self, and I am so thankful for the time I’ve spent here, the lessons I’ve learned and the fantastic people I’ve worked alongside. Without a doubt, my time as editor has equipped me to live my best life after I leave this great company, and I know our future issues will continue to help you live your best life too.

Selecting the right cosmetic dentist can be a difficult and confusing process,

Follow us on

Happy reading!

but choosing the right one is a crucial decision with ramifications on your looks and self-confidence that could last a lifetime.

Flannery Keck

Coming in November

In this eBook you will find key topics covered such as:

Q&A with the practitioners leading Atlanta’s integrative health movement Features: Holiday Volunteerism – Plan for a compassionate holiday season Diet Out of Diabetes – A healthy diet can reverse your reliance on diabetes medication – find out how! Profile: Tracey Pearson – meet the founder of Prissy Tomboy Athletics For more of everything, go to

Photo courtesy of Sawyer Photography (top)

The Wellness Issue

It's Time to Vote!

Oct 1-Oct 15

• How to understand a doctor’s

credentials (a MUST if you want a dream smile!),

• Things you need to know in order to make an informed decision,

• Before and After pictures of Do’s and Don’ts with explanations and analysis, and

• Countless more insider tips! To download this free eBook, just visit AtlantaCenterforCosmetic or scan the code below with your smart phone.

Go to Best Self Atlanta's Facebook page to vote for your favorites in our



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BEST of 2015 Contest!


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WHY DO PEOPLE TRAVEL THOUSANDS OF MILES FOR ONE OF OUR SMILES? THE ATLANTA CENTER FOR COSMETIC DENTISTRY, founded by Dr. Debra Gray King in 1987, is one-of-a-kind haven for your smile transformation. World-renowned for enhancing the smiles of many celebrities, it has also transformed the lives of thousands of people from all walks of life, from doctors, to soccer moms, to business executives and beauty queens. The transformation process here is performed quickly, with lots of pampering, and minimally invasive techniques. Your smile and oral health are very important. If you have been thinking of enhancing your smile, you owe it to your self to seek out the best. After all, your smile is not the place for on-the-job training. To get optimal results, it takes a well-trained, experienced doctorartist. Dr. King is one of only a few dentists in the world to be an Accredited Fellow, which is the highest level of competence in the prestigious American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. She also has been extensively sought out as an expert on dental trends in the media, including CBS, CNN, Fox News, The Doctors, Extreme Makeover, Entertainment Tonight, The Wall Street Journal, Time, InStyle, Vogue, Glamour, and USA Today. To arrange a consultation, or for more information, please visit our website or call. You will love your new smile!

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Women’s Health: Beyond the Checkups KATIE MINER





General Manager Atlanta Decorative Arts Center

Professional Organizer It’s Time to Get Organized

Licensed Psychologist Thriveworks Atlanta Counseling

Stylist Glam Kam

Certified Career Coach Hallie Crawford, Co.






Photos (left to right) courtesy of CatMax Photography, Carolyn Foster, Dr. Joy Harden-Bradford, Haute Couture Media, Sara Speert Photography

How does a sprucedup space contribute to women’s well-being? When I walk into any room in my home, I want it to evoke an emotion. My study was finished in a deep navy lacquer that evokes a feeling of luxury and seclusion and invites you to curl up with a book. What is your advice for women who want to spruce up their space? Declutter and add wallpaper! Decluttering creates a stress-free environment, and stylish storage solutions allow for simple clean up. And while many people say a fresh coat of paint instantly transforms a room, I say wallpaper. There are so many highdesign options, whether it is a bold graphic print or subtle texture. What do you love about the décor in your home? That I went for it! I took risks, I followed my dreams. There are spaces that make a statement, like the black powder room, but there are also spaces that are light and crisp, which create balance. Every day when I walk into our home, I simply feel proud.

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How does good organization contribute to women’s overall well-being?

How does taking “me” time contribute to women’s overall well-being?

How does a winning wardrobe contribute to women’s overall well-being?

How does taking time off from work contribute to women’s overall well-being?

Women juggle many roles. When they are organized, they are in a better state of mind and able to focus on what is important. Being organized reduces stress and helps people think clearly.

It gives your mind, body and spirit time to recharge. It gives you the space to really connect with yourself, which is important as you move forward in both your personal and professional lives.

It’s essential to recharge both mind and body by taking a break from work. The real rest happens when you’re not taking phone calls, checking email or even thinking about work.

What is your advice for women who want to be more organized?

Why don’t women generally take enough time to pamper themselves?

When you look good, you feel good. There is nothing like the transformative power of a great outfit. I have seen women go from crying in the dressing room to strutting around the store, and the only thing that changed was her outfit. What is your advice for women who want to have a winning wardrobe?

Lack of motivation, drop in creativity, constant stress and anxiety can result from not enough time off. We have had clients experience physical illness from too much stress at work.

Create a master list of to-dos and write down all of your tasks (either on paper or electronically) so you won’t forget them. Now you can use your mind for high-level cognitive tasks such as thinking through ideas, writing reports and researching and summarizing information. What organizational tip helps you the most? What a difference it makes when I plan my day first thing in the morning or even the night before! I choose two to three tasks that are the most important and focus my efforts on getting them done. At the end of the day, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I got the important items done.

Women tend to be socialized to put others’ needs before their own and see “me” time as being selfish. The difficult part for many women to understand is that if you don’t properly take care of yourself, then you can’t take care of others. What is your advice for women who want to take more “me” time? Make it a part of your schedule. Just like you schedule doctor appointments and meetings, schedule time to engage in pleasurable activity for yourself. What is your personal favorite way to pamper yourself? Manicures and pedicures, or catching up on all of my favorite podcasts.

Know your body, accept it and embrace it. When shopping, be realistic: don’t buy four-inch heels if you can only walk comfortably in two-inch heels. Also, remember that you will never love something more than you love it in the dressing room. What do you love most about your own wardrobe? I have built a wardrobe full of pieces that compliment my body shape and, more importantly, make me happy. Getting dressed is my favorite part of my day – I love to express my style and creativity with each outfit I wear.

What day-to-day challenges arise from burnout?

What is your advice for women who want to take more time off? Talk with your boss about the specific benefits that will result from time off work and what you would like to see happen. It doesn’t have to be extra vacation time, but perhaps flex time on Mondays, for example, that would enable you to take a course outside of work. Consider a compromise, like working a few extra hours each week to be able to take a week off every couple of months.




9/23/15 9:25 AM

bestbulletin Whisked Away

Get Glam

Whiskies of the World takes place in Buckhead this month featuring whisky tastings, educational seminars and more than 200 whiskies from around the globe. On the evening of October 23, the expo launches with the tastings of whisky from Scotland, Ireland, Canada and more – even places as near as Tennessee and as far as India and Japan.The evening also includes food pairings and cigars to complement the experience.Tickets start at $120.

Atlantans can now get beauty services right to their door with a free Uber-style app called Shaglam. Shaglam lets users scroll through portfolios, read reviews, compare prices and book either a blowout, custom updo or makeup artist. Embrace your inner celebrity while you kick back, relax and possibly indulge in a glass of bubbly while your booked stylist prepares you for your event in the comfort of your own home. Each stylist is vetted, trained and receives a background check, so you know you’re in trustworthy hands.

Urban Tree Cidery Love those Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Add another seasonal drink to your repertoire this fall when Urban Tree Cidery opens in just a few weeks. Atlanta’s first cidery is about 4,500 square feet and is located in Midtown’s Westside neighborhood. They will offer two traditional ciders and seasonal creations that they produce onsite. The cidery will also support Atlanta through community programs such as Concrete Jungle and Trees Atlanta. Follow them on social media @UrbanTreeCider for the latest details about grand opening events! Details: 1465 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA,

The British Are Coming! There’s a new retailer on the Atlanta lingerie scene. London stylists Rigby & Peller Lingerie opened an Atlanta flagship store this fall, bringing their 75 years of experience and quality product offerings to Phipps Plaza. In addition to helping customers find their favorite styles, shapes and colors of lingerie, Rigby & Peller U.S. will also be a one-stop shop for swimwear and nightwear. And the best part? They have more than 90 sizes ranging from A to K cup, so their styles and service are open to every woman. Details: 3500 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA,



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Details: Available for iOS and Android,

Pick of the Month Swing for the Cure Prince Global Sports now calls Atlanta home from their new headquarters in Terminus Buckhead. They have proudly partnered with nonprofit Bright Pink ( this October in the battle against breast and ovarian cancer. Bright Pink is a national nonprofit organization focused on prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. As part of their partnership, Prince is introducing a new TeXtreme Warrior 107L racquet in a special pink design, T22 Lite tennis shoe in pink and a coordinated pink design 3 Pack tennis bag. The items will be available for purchase starting October 1 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Photo courtesy of Rigby & Peller (bottom left)

Details: Grand Hyatt Hotel Atlanta, 3300 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA,

For a full list of Atlanta stores that support breast cancer awareness, visit

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Advanced Weight Loss Practice

. . . .

. . .

Services Offered: Colon Cancer Gallbladder Diseases Hernia Hyperparathyroidism

Obesity Parathyroid (Gland) Disease Thyroid Cancer

Bariatric Innovations of Atlanta We are a full-service practice specializing in advanced weight loss surgery and general surgery procedures. Led by Dr. Srinivasa Gorjala, an Atlanta Top Doc and board-certified physician with over a decade of practice experience, Bariatric Innovations of Atlanta offers advanced, minimally-invasive laparoscopic gastric and endocrine surgical procedures, and the state-of-the-art single port technique for LAP-BAND surgery.

For More Information: (404) 250-6691

Location: 6135 Barfield Road, Suite 150 Atlanta, GA 30328

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A food allergy is caused by an immunologic reaction triggered by a protein, resulting in an allergic reaction. Symptoms can be rapid and include itchy mouth and throat, generalized hives, GI symptoms and breathing difficulty with loss of consciousness. Intolerance is not triggered by an allergic mechanism. GI reactions to the food or a Stanley Fineman, MD component of the food usually cause them. A trained allergy specialist’s accurate Atlanta Allergy & Asthma diagnosis is important since such reactions may be life-threatening.


Q Mike Majmundar, MD Northside Plastic Surgery

What is the MM Lift ? Unlike traditional techniques using fillers that make you look puffy and plump, the MM Lift directly addresses the facial aging problem by nonsurgically lifting the descended tissues. This revolutionary lift adds volume to volume-deficient areas throughout the face (in front of the ear, over the cheekbone, under the cheekbone, on the jaw bone, etc.) while avoiding the puffy look around the mouth and under the eyes that so many people have come to find unnatural.



What is the number one pitfall for women who want to lose weight and keep it off ? We don’t take it seriously enough. Our culture portrays obesity as just a cosmetic problem when it’s really a disease with whole-body health implications. It’s also seen as a sprint; really, it’s a marathon. Think of yourself as an Olympic athlete in training. Success means developing repeatable habits of thought and action. Invest in a knowledgeable coach, psychological support and the proper tools. Put your health first. You’re worth it.


Q Damian Dhar, MD North Atlanta Dermatology

Eileen Javellana, MD Center for Weight Management at Gwinnett Medical Center

Lice are going around my child’s school. What should I know about them? Lice are tiny parasitic insects that reproduce by feeding on your blood. You can get lice by coming into contact with either lice or their eggs. Lice can’t fly or walk on the ground, but they are easily spread – especially by schoolchildren – through close personal contact (sleepovers, athletics) and by sharing belongings like hats, helmets and brushes. Lice can live for one to two days off the body. Despite good personal hygiene, you can still get lice and unless properly treated, lice can recur. Usually you can get rid of lice by using nonprescription shampoo that’s specifically formulated to kill lice.



I have developed a few skin tags in the last few years. What are my options to have them removed? Removal of benign lesions is a common request by patients for cosmetic reasons. There are different techniques or ways to remove these: electrocautery, excision, laser or cryosurgery. Healing time for most of these is typically quick and the removal is done in a simple outpatient office visit. After the removal, a scab will usually form and once healed may leave a small red Alan Gardner, MD spot that fades over time. The removal area needs to be properly cared for and cleaned to Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa avoid infection. Instructions for proper care will be given to you at your appointment.




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Photos (top to bottom) courtesy of Atlanta Allergy & Asthma, Dr. Mike Majmundar, The Longstreet Clinic PC, North Atlanta Dermatology, Gardner Dermatology


Is there a difference between food allergy and food intolerance ?

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Look Young... Feel Great!

“South of Everything” Audrey Taylor Gonzalez is a journalist, TV host, breast cancer survivor, award-winning youth advocate and author. That last role brings her to Atlanta this month to promote her newest book. On October 9, find her at FoxTale Book Shoppe in Woodstock for their emerging author series, where she will share the story of the post-WWII South. Visit for more.

“The Body of Chris”

Photos (top to bottom) courtesy of Julia Drake PR, Inkshares, Sarah Hall PR

Atlanta author Chris Cole explores mental illness – everything from bipolar disorder to substance abuse – in his new memoir. The title, “The Body of Chris,” comes from the author’s first psychotic episode at age 18, when he suddenly believed he was the Second Coming of Christ. This honest, reflective book is enhanced by the fact that Cole now holds a degree in contemplative psychology and is a certified strategic intervention coach. Order a copy on Inkshares for $16 or from


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“Discovering Your Soul Signature” Do you ever get stuck in a rut mentally? Negative thoughts seem to play on a continuous loop, and it’s tough to feel joyful and passionate about life. Author Panache Desai wants to help you overcome that with a day-to-day spiritual roadmap in his new book “Discovering Your Soul Signature.” Desai, who has been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s “Super Soul Sunday,” shares his own struggles and stories alongside 33 meditations in the book. Visit to order your copy and stay updated about events.

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• Hot Flashes • Difficulty Losing Weight • Mood Swings • Weight Gain

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bestfun In Stitches at the Strand

After a four-year absence, the Party at Ponce event is making an indie-pop-fueled return on October 10. Georgiagrown duo Indigo Girls and singer-songwriters Shawn Mullins and David Ryan Harris will take the stage while shoppers enjoy exclusive access to Ponce City Market’s shops. Party goers that work up an appetite can enjoy tastings from more than 25 nationally acclaimed chefs and local restaurants. This year’s party will raise funds for the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Georgia Organics, The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Museum of Design Atlanta and more. Details: Tickets are $85,

We all have a few crazy stories from childhood, but with a boisterous Italian mom and a hilarious Jewish dad, comedian Steve Solomon has more stories than most. After decades of a teaching and school administration career, Solomon transitioned to full-time comedy. This month, he brings his award-winning Broadway show “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m in Therapy!” to Marietta’s Strand Theatre. Tickets start at $35. Details: 117 North Park Square, Marietta, GA, (770) 293-0080,

Photos courtesy of Ponce City Market (left), Marketing Inspirations (right)

Ponce is Ready to Party

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bestbites Spaghetti Squash Aglio e Olio Don’t be fooled by the fancy Italian name – this dish is simple, seasonal and healthy. It’s a vegetable-based take on a more traditional pasta dish, created by executive chef Matt Marcus at Portofino. And with just a handful of seasonings, it’s as easy to make as it is light and delicious. INGREDIENTS: 1 large spaghetti squash 2 oz safflower oil (can be found at any grocery store) 1 oz extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic (peeled and minced) Kosher salt Black pepper METHOD: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is warming, split the squash lengthwise and brush with safflower oil. Place in oven for 45 minutes or until fork tender.

Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Scrape the seeds and discard (or save for a snack). With the back of a fork, gently grate the flesh of the squash until it releases from the skin. Heat a sauté pan with the olive oil. Add the garlic and turn off the heat.

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Once the garlic has toasted, add the squash and toss (or stir) making sure to coat evenly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy! -- Courtesy of Portofino,

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While you and the kids enjoy Halloween treats this month, make sure your pets don’t indulge in the wrong things! Keep in mind these tips from David York, owner of Barking Hound Village:

2. Prevent accidental ingestion of Halloween candy by keeping pet-safe treats on hand instead. Consider leaving your pet in another part of the house while trick-or-treaters come to the door in case you drop any candy. 3. Watch your children while they are eating their Halloween candy. Children may make the harmful mistake of sharing with their fourlegged friends. 4. Make sure you keep all candy away from Fido, but especially dark chocolate. This sweet is one of the most common causes of dog poisoning and can lead to serious illness and even death in dogs. 5. If you suspect your pet has eaten something harmful, call your veterinarian, the Poison Control Center or the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 888426-4435 immediately.



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Tex-Mex lovers rejoice! The beloved Rio Bravo restaurant, which was an Atlanta favorite in the early ’90s, is being reincarnated in Sandy Springs as Ray’s Rio Bravo restaurant. Located just down the road from Ray’s On the River, the new restaurant will serve up traditional TexMex cuisine featuring fresh ingredients and homemade tortillas prepared with the famous “El Machino” tortilla press. Longtime fans can enjoy old favorites whipped up with secret formulas and all new menu items, including the signature margarita and lunch specials. Details: 6700 Powers Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, GA, (770) 612-2829,

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Jill Binkley Founder of nonprofit TurningPoint is changing the way women cope with breast cancer treatment


By Amy Meadows

Photo courtesy of Brian Reeves, hair and makeup by The Green Room Agency

hen Jill Binkley received her second breast cancer diagnosis in 2007, she knew what to expect. The busy mother of three underwent the same treatment that she had seven years earlier at the age of 40: a mastectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation. But there were some differences the second time around. For instance, the cancer was located in her left breast instead of the right one, and it surprisingly was not a recurrence of the first cancer – a rather uncommon circumstance. What’s more, during her second bout with primary cancer, Binkley was not as scared. And for good reason.

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TurningPoint clients in a Pilates class with physical therapist Lauren Bober

“By that time, I could turn to the people at TurningPoint,” says Binkley, executive director of TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, which she founded in 2003. “I had created my own support.” Starting a nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation services directly related to breast cancer treatment was never something Binkley planned to do. However, her own experience opened




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her eyes to the need for the important services that TurningPoint now offers. “When I was first diagnosed in 2000, I was really shocked at many of the side effects of the breast cancer treatment, both emotional and physical,” explains Binkley, a trained physical therapist who specialized in orthopedics and sports injuries. “When you have a mastectomy, there is significant pain after the surgery.

“If you think about it, when you have major surgery on your knee, you’re referred to physical therapy or rehab,” Binkley observes. Yet, 15 years ago, no one extended those services to women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. And as Binkley researched her own issues and tried to find solutions during her first two-year recovery, she quickly realized that she was not alone. So, in 2003, she opened the doors to TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation. Initially, she began with her own area of expertise: physical therapy that includes gentle, hands-

Photo courtesy of TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

You can have difficulty moving your shoulder and arm. You have weakness and fatigue from the chemo. It can really impact your quality of life. And I developed lymphedema, a swelling of the arm that’s not an uncommon side effect. But I wasn’t aware of what it was.” Astoundingly, at the time, her medical team didn’t really have any resources to recommend to her as she navigated the ramifications of treatment.

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on stretching, manual therapy and exercise for muscles that are stiff, painful and have lost range of motion after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Then, over time, she and her team of professionals added services based on patients’ needs. “We would hear from patients about what they needed and what they weren’t receiving,” she says. Today, TurningPoint offers an array of clinical services, including specialized physical therapy and lymphedema management, massage therapy, counseling, nutrition guidance, an exercise program and a special program for women with metastatic breast cancer (Stage 4 breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body). “Everyone on our staff specializes in breast cancer rehab. We know about the stages of breast cancer and its treatment and all of the physical and emotional effects,” Binkley notes. That’s because every person on staff has been touched by breast cancer in some way. She continues, “Each of us has either gone through it ourselves or has had someone

close to us go through it. We have a lot of compassion for our patients because we truly understand their journey.” That empathy is one of the most important components for the nearly 3,000 patients who have become part of the TurningPoint family over the last 12 years. “It can be difficult to talk to close family and friends. When you do talk about your fear and your concerns, you feel like you’re complaining,” Binkley explains. “Our patients feel like they need to be strong. And when they come in, many times this is the first time they’ve admitted that they’re having a rough time. We offer them a safe place to talk about these things.” Binkley points to one patient who summed it up perfectly. A wife, mother and full-time professional, the patient felt like she had to do it all without putting strain on anyone in her life. Binkley recalls, “She said, ‘Out there, I have to be Superwoman. But when I come here, I’m allowed to leave my cape at the door.’” That’s exactly the type of support Binkley wants to provide to women with breast cancer, regardless of their

It’s Time To Think Pink Mark your calendar. On Saturday, March 12, 2016, TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation will hold its highly anticipated annual fundraiser, The Pink Affair, at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North. The event will include dinner, a live band, dancing, an auction and much more. Net proceeds will benefit the organization by supporting women in financial need, as well as TurningPoint’s education and advocacy programs. For more information, visit


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financial situation. That desire led her to start TurningPoint as a nonprofit, which was an excellent decision. In addition to removing the financial barrier for patients who normally would not be able to afford such comprehensive services, the organization has the ability to implement new services and programs quickly when funding is available. “There is a push nationally to get these services into hospitals and other clinics, but being a communitybased clinic, we’re light on our feet. It’s easier for us to respond quickly and provide patients with the services they truly need,” Binkley explains. Fortunately, community support for TurningPoint has grown steadily over the years. In addition to grants from organizations like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer, TurningPoint receives much of its funding from local donors – many of whom are former patients. “It’s amazing that you can affect someone so much

that they’re willing to come back and support you like this. As a physical therapist, I was so surprised by that. It’s a very different model of care from the traditional rehab environment,” says Binkley, who has become a tireless advocate for bringing attention to the physical and emotional side effects of breast cancer treatment. Her work has led her to speak locally, nationally and internationally and publish well-received papers about evidencebased physical therapy outcomes and breast cancer rehabilitation. Through TurningPoint, she has taken on an educational role for the healthcare community, as well as physical and occupational therapists who want to specialize in this specific area of rehabilitation. And her efforts – as well as those of TurningPoint’s entire staff – are making a resounding difference. “We have oncologists and surgeons in the Atlanta area that automatically refer their patients to us now,” she says. In fact, TurningPoint sees 35 to 40 newly



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“Everyone on our staff specializes in breast cancer rehab. We have a lot of compassion for our patients because we truly understand their journey.” diagnosed patients per month from metro Atlanta and other outlying areas. “It’s wonderful. It’s so rewarding to be able to reach out and help other breast cancer survivors – to do this so other women won’t have to search for what I was searching for,” she adds.


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Binkley also is thrilled that TurningPoint has become part of the research surrounding breast cancer rehabilitation. Recently, the organization partnered with Georgia Tech to help develop a way to identify lymphedema using three-dimensional photography and Xbox technology. The goal is to create a system for women to check at home on an ongoing basis so they can detect the condition early. Data will be collected through TurningPoint, which not only has the clinical experience necessary for such an endeavor, but also a state-of-theart lymphedema measurement device that no one else in the region has in a clinical setting. It’s the type of innovative, forward-looking effort that TurningPoint is perfect for. “We named the organization TurningPoint because that’s what our goal was – to be a turning point for breast cancer patients,” Binkley states. “That’s the most important thing for us. We want women who are going through breast cancer to know that we understand that there is so much going on physically and emotionally, and we can help. All women in the United States deserve this kind of care. That’s my ultimate goal – to be part of a woman’s standard of care.”

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Of course, there are challenges, including serving women who are going through something so familiar to the TurningPoint staff. “It brings back memories,” Binkley says. “But at the end of the day, even if it feels sad or scary, we realize that if we’re not here for them, who will be? And we get over it. We think about them. We put that ahead of everything else.” For Binkley, that message is crucial, especially being a two-time breast cancer survivor. She sees herself and her staff as role models for women who are newly diagnosed or in the middle of their own journeys. “We’re here, and we’re healthy. We want to give them the message that they can get through this,” she concludes. “And we want to say to them, ‘We’re here for you. We’ll walk by your side.’”

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Navigating Life After Breast Cancer FROM SURVIVING TO THRIVING


By Kathy Kantorski

n the spring of 1999, a woman was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Her annual mammogram six months prior didn’t detect any tumors; in a matter of weeks, the tumor had formed, and the cancer had advanced to a near-fatal stage. She underwent a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Her usual cheerful demeanor became shadowed by a cloud of exhaustion. Her golden hair was gone, then replaced by patches of gray fuzz which she covered with scarves and wigs. She was too weak and nauseated to cook meals for her family, as she had done every day for nearly 20 years. But she remained strong. She chose to keep her job, working at least four hours every day throughout the treatments. She went to church every Sunday, socializing with friends and sharing her experience. And she survived.

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when she overcame the disease; it simply evolved into a different struggle. Her treatments caused early menopause, she underwent reconstructive surgery and she battled anxiety and depression. My mom is not alone in her post-treatment struggles. One in eight US women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. You’ve likely heard of the causes, screenings and treatments, but not of the aftermath – until now.

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The author, Kathy Kantorski, pictured with her mother, Irene Kidwell

That woman is my mom. I was 17 years old when she fought and survived breast cancer, an impressionable age that allowed the experience to be permanently burned into my memory. And in the years that followed, I watched my mom struggle to thrive again. The severe physical and emotional trauma of the cancer meant her fight didn’t end

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The most common side effect from breast cancer treatment is fatigue. To combat this, experts recommend a moderate exercise program to increase energy levels, decrease depression and reduce pain. “Some studies show that regular exercise, such as walking 2.5 hours weekly, can actually lower the risk for cancer recurrence,” says Dr. James Hamrick, the chief of medical oncology and hematology for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. Exercising the arms is recommended for women whose breast cancer treatment

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involved the removal of lymph nodes and radiation, as they are at risk of developing lymphedema, or swelling, in the affected arm. “Lymphedema may be mild and short-lived or become chronic. It may occur early after treatment or months or years later,” explains Lisa Sherman, BSN RN, breast health nurse navigator at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center. “Exercising the affected arm regularly to keep fluid from accumulating is important.” According to Jill Binkley, breast cancer survivor and executive director of TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation, as many as 60 percent of breast cancer survivors face lingering issues years after their treatment that may prevent them from fully returning to their usual roles and activities, such as lifting their children, playing sports and work demands. She notes that initiating physical therapy, massage therapy and exercise within the first few weeks following surgery is ideal and can help women get back to a full life.

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Self-esteem “Breast surgery and the side effects from treatment – hair loss, nausea, fatigue, weight gain, hot flashes – can wreak havoc on a woman’s self-esteem,” says Dr. Jane Lowe Meisel, medical oncologist for the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. “In addition, many women are used to serving as a support system for their loved ones. Learning to accept help and support rather than giving it can be very challenging.” Meisel recommends seeking support outside of your network of family and friends, such as in a support group. “Hearing from others who are going through or have gone through the same thing can help normalize the experience,” she says. Cati Diamond Stone, breast cancer survivor and executive director of Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, agrees. “I have found it immensely important to get involved in the breast cancer community and support organizations that help and empower others,” she says. She goes on to note that reconstructive procedures can also do

wonders to increase self-esteem. “After months or even years of treatment, you finally have control over how you look, how your clothes fit – how you feel about

“When breast cancer treatment is complete, women need to trust and hope that the cancer will not return.” — Jill Binkley, TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation

and insecurity regarding physical changes in the breast(s), as well as fatigue and early menopause caused by cancer treatments. “The medicines prescribed can lower estrogen levels, cause vaginal dryness and lower the libido,” adds Dr. Stephen Szabo, section head of community oncology at Winship Cancer Institute. Communication surrounding the problem is imperative. “Given that intimacy can be challenging enough without cancer, I advise patients and their partners to open up and talk to one another,” Hamrick says. “They can also benefit from additional expertise from a therapist or their gynecologist.”

The worry of recurrence yourself. It’s such a personal decision, but for me, reconstructive surgery was an important part of my healing process.”

Intimacy “Breast cancer is a challenge to the intimacy of even the best relationships,” Binkley notes. This can be a result of low self-esteem

Though the healthcare industry is getting better and better at detecting cancers early and treating them, there is always a risk that the cancer will recur. Binkley says, “When breast cancer treatment is complete, women need to trust and hope that the cancer will not return. Living with this fear of recurrence is one of the biggest emotional challenges faced by breast cancer patients.”

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This worry of recurrence will drive many women to “living test to test,” as Hamrick puts it, meaning they need a scan or blood test with negative results to help them sleep at night. “Often, over-testing causes more problems and anxiety than it fixes,” he says. “It’s best to live a healthy, active life and be vigilant for new symptoms, but also learn not to panic with any new feeling. That’s an understandably hard thing to do for a cancer survivor.”

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He goes on to explain that those who are years past their breast cancer treatment can often overestimate the threat breast cancer poses to their health relative to other risks. “Things like obesity, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle actually become larger causes of competing mortality. I like it when survivors are able to channel their motivation to beat breast cancer into healthier overall lifestyle choices.”

T t

Post-cancer treatments Approximately 80 percent of women have estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancers, says Barbara Robey, LCSW, clinical social worker, counselor and coach for Chapman Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Healthcare. “In these patients, we recommend that they receive at least five years of either Tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor. These oral medications reduce the risk of cancer recurrence by 50 to 60 percent.” The medication can have side effects like blood clots, cognitive impairment and menopausal symptoms, but Meisel adds, “There are a number of treatments we can use to help with these side effects, so it is important to mention these to your provider.”

The silver lining Eighty percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not die from their cancer, according to Dr. Laura Pearson, breast surgeon and medical director of the North Fulton breast program at North Atlanta Surgical Associates. “I like to use the analogy of cancer being like a flat tire, not a car accident,” she says. “While it is something that cannot be ignored and you can’t move forward until it’s fixed, most likely you will get past it and continue your journey.” That being said, breast cancer survivors have the benefit of a newfound outlook on life. As Binkley puts it, “As a 15-year breast cancer survivor, there is not a day that goes by that I am not reminded in some way of my experience. But there is also not a day that goes by that I am not reminded of the blessing of having a husband, family and friends who have supported me every step of the way. Life is different, but can actually be better after breast cancer.” EDITORIAL RESOURCES Jill Binkley, TurningPoint Breast Cancer Rehabilitation – James Hamrick, MD, MPH, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia – Jane Lowe Meisel, MD, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University – Laura Pearson, MD, North Atlanta Surgical Associates – Barbara Robey, LCSW, Chapman Cancer Wellness at Piedmont Healthcare – Lisa Sherman, BSN RN, WellStar Health System – Cati Diamond Stone, Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta – Stephen Szabo, MD, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University –



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Sweat in Style

5 Fitness Wear Picks for Women and Men By Amelia Pavlik


he perfect pair of comfy running shoes could carry you over the finish line at this year’s fall 5Ks. Workout capris can make you feel fabulous whether you’re at bootcamp or brunch. Whether it helps you perform better in that race or just makes you look good, having the right gear plays a role in your fitness success. If you’re looking for a workout wardrobe boost to help motivate you to move, read on for Best Self ’s top five picks for ladies and gents.




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For Men 1 Mizuno Venture Sleeveless Available at: Price: $39 Size: S-XXL

“This running tank uses Mizuno’s COOLTOUCH and BLINDSTITCH construction,” says Alyssa Jordan, business unit manager of running apparel and accessories of Atlanta-based Mizuno. “So it will keep you cool and dry and is designed for anti-chafing and a comfortable fit.” 2 Brooks PureGrit Trail

Running Shoe Available at: Big Peach Running Co., Price: $120 Sizes: 7-14

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Seamless T-Shirt Available at: West Stride, Price: $45 Sizes: S-XL “This is a shirt that functions well and feels weightless,” says Deeter Dietz, West Stride assistant manager. “It’s seamless, the fabric is breathable and lightweight, and it just looks good!”

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1. Increases Energy & Relieves Fatigue 2. Promotes Weight Loss

“This shoe fits like a glove without sacrificing protection. You will feel in control of every step on the ground beneath you,” says Rachel Tucker, general manager of Big Peach’s East Cobb location. “It has an outsole peppered with hex lugs for maximum grip, while a propulsion plate protects your foot from rocks and roots on the trail. Lastly, there is a toe guard to provide protection and added traction when the trail gets steep.”

These sweat-wicking shorts were made with multisport versatility in mind, says Helen McKeon, southeast area community strategist for Lululemon. “We added LYCRA fibre to the secure-fit waistband for great stretch and shape retention,” McKeon says. “Plus, we’ve added an easy-access side pocket with a key loop for convenience.”

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Sweat in Style: 5 Fitness Wear Picks for Women and Men 5 Freefly Bamboo

Lightweight Long Sleeve Shirt Available at: Half-Moon Outfitters, Price: $49.95 Sizes: S-XL For those days you need a little more coverage, try this shirt. The soft fabric provides UPF 15 sun protection, says Laura Elliott, a buyer for Half-Moon Outfitters. “The fabric wicks moisture and provides natural resistance to odor,” Elliott explains. “The off-theshoulder fit provides great range of motion. It’s a wonderful option for any outdoor activity.”



For Women 6 Mizuno Serenity T-Shirt Available at: Price: $44 Sizes: XS-XL

According to Mizuno’s Alyssa Jordan, this classic running T-shirt is perfect for an intense workout. “The front panel is made of our COOLTOUCH technology, which draws heat from the skin to keep you dry and cool,” Jordan explains. Plus, she adds, “The front and mesh back panel offer flat seams to prevent chafing.”


7 Lively Capri by Lole Available at: Big Peach Running Co., Price: $90 Sizes: XXS-XL



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“This capri smooths and shapes like no other,” says Big Peach’s Rachel Tucker. “The quick-dry Supplex fabric offers four-way stretch and UPF 50+ sun protection. And the Power Mesh liner at the abdomen delivers firm core support for a smooth silhouette and a stay-put fit.” 8 Pace Rival Skirt IIR Available at: Lululemon, Price: $58 Size: 2-12

“This skirt is designed to feel light

and keep you covered when you hit the trails or the court,” says Helen McKeon, southeast area community strategist for Lululemon. And it doesn’t stop at comfort and style: it’s functional, too. “Our signature threepocket waistband has room for all of your essentials,” McKeon says. 9 Elomi Energise

Sports Bra Available at: Livi Rae Lingerie, Price: $70 Sizes: 36F-44F, 36G-44G, 36H-42H, and 34J-38J “This sports bra is an absolute must for full-busted women since it provides maximum support for high impact activity,” co-owners Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Decker say. “This style is a great multipurpose sports bra that offers a racer back option created by a J-hook feature built in to the straps.” 10 New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Available at: West Stride, Price: $100 Size: 5-12 (wider widths available)

“This shoe is a lightweight trainer that is flexible, feels fast and has plenty of cushion for the long run,” says West Stride general manager Wil Cramer. “The best part is that this shoe not only can help boost your performance –it’s actually pretty stylish, too!” Editorial Resources Wil Cramer, West Stride, Cynthia Decker, Livi Rae Lingerie, Deeter Dietz, West Stride, Laura Elliott, Half-Moon Outfitters, Alyssa Jordan, Mizuno Running, Molly Hopkins, Livi Rae Lingerie, Helen McKeon, Lululemon, Stephanie Michael, Village Podiatry Centers, Rachel Tucker, Big Peach Running Co.,

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Breaking Down Breast Cancer:


D SANDRA L. GREGORY, MD Board Certification: Radiation Oncology Medical Degree: Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey Residency Training: Weiler Hospital in New York Undergraduate: University of New Hampshire Special Interests: Breast Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer

id you know, according to the American Cancer Society breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women. However, modern medicine and technology are helping women live longer by discovering and treating breast cancer earlier. Stay informed and up to date with these breast cancer facts and tips. WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS? • Age – Over 75 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50. • Genetics – Having a family history of breast cancer in a mother or sister can increase your risk for developing the disease. • Children – Having children later in life or choosing to have them not at all can • Unhealthy Lifestyle – Lack of physical exercise, poor diet, being overweight and regular consumption of alcohol have also been shown to increase risk of breast cancer.

WHAT ABOUT SCREENING AND DIAGNOSIS? The most common screening test for breast cancer is a mammogram along with a clinical breast exam beginning at age 40. Women with a higher risk may also be advised to receive an MRI. The warning signs for breast cancer differ for each woman. Some of the most common symptoms include: A change in the look or feel of the breast and nipple. A lump. Most lumps turn out to be benign and not cancerous, but it is still important to be cautious. Swelling in the armpit. HOW DO I TREAT BREAST CANCER? Breast cancer is often treated with surgery. Breast conserving surgery focuses on only removing the cancerous tissue from the breast, while a mastectomy is the surgical removal of the breast. Following surgery, patients often receive radiation therapy, which uses X-rays to destroy cancer cells. Some patients also require chemotherapy and/or hormone blocking therapy.

Dr. Gregory is a member of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. She has worked in hospitals and cancer treatment centers in Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. Dr. Gregory has published articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented her conferences. Dr. Gregory resides in Alpharetta, Georgia. She is an avid and talented horseback rider.

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A Team Approach to Skin Cancer


DR. ADAM PERRY Dr. Perry brings an elite level of training in the latest skin cancer treatments to Metro Atlanta. After obtaining his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine, the Georgia native went on to do a dermatology residency in Charleston and then completed a fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

pplying sunscreen daily, even if it’s cloudy outside, getting your daily dose of vitamin D and regularly checking your birthday suit for any changes in your skin could save your life. These simple routines can help protect you from one of the most common forms of cancer: skin cancer. With diagnosis rates increasing more than 75 percent over the past decade, it is more important than ever to take precautions and keep an eye on your body’s largest organ. spot on your skin and you receive a skin cancer diagnosis, you can trust you’ll be in excellent hands at Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center and Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery. The Skin Cancer Center, led by Dr. Jared Friedman, has now doubled its surgical space and with the addition of Dr. Perry as our second, fully dedicated Mohs surgeon, we have doubled our capacity to serve the community.

What exactly is Mohs surgery? Mohs surgery is considered to be one of the most effective treatments for two of the most common forms of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, or BCC and SCC for short. This microscopic surgery focuses on removing as little healthy skin tissue as possible when removing cancerous cells. With nine general dermatologists, seven dermatology physician assistants, two a full-time, in-house pathologist and our facial plastic surgeon Dr. Yellin, Marietta Dermatology & The Skin Cancer Center offers patients a rare opportunity to have their skin cancer diagnosed, treated quickly and effectively with Mohs surgery, and when necessary, reconstructed by Dr. Yellin, one of Atlanta’s most respected and experienced facial plastic surgeons; all under one roof! Very few practices across the country are fortunate enough to offer this type of integrated skin care management.

The dedicated fellowship provided Dr. Perry with extensive experience using Mohs surgery to treat a variety of skin cancers – including melanoma – a skill set gleaned at only a handful of fellowship programs nationally. Dr. Perry also received extensive training in advanced reconstruction techniques to repair patients following the removal of skin cancer. Adam Perry, MD, is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society, the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Medical Association.


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Kaiser Permanente: A COORDINATED APPROACH TO CANCER CARE At Kaiser Permanente of Georgia, we know that every person, every cancer diagnosis, and every road to recovery is unique. That’s why our Breast Care Center offers a personalized approach to treatment that provides our members with a convenient, coordinated and compassionate care experience.


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When lumps are diagnosed and treated in their earliest stages, breast cancer treatment has a much higher likelihood of success. That’s why we encourage our members to follow a breast health routine that includes regular mammogram screenings, which can help detect breast cancer up to two years before it can be found by self-examination. If a Kaiser Permanente member has an abnormal mammogram result, our Breast our electronic health record, which connects our members to their entire care team. A biopsy is often scheduled by the following day.

After receiving a cancer diagnosis, our members sit down at a table with a breast surgeon, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and breast care coordinator to create a comprehensive care plan. This multi-disciplinary team approach to care—with patients playing an active role in the decision-making—results in a more coordinated, timely and satisfying care experience. Along with our streamlined and coordinated approach to breast health care, we also offer the Breast Cancer Survivorship Program that our members can enroll in after completing treatment. A dedicated Breast Care Center specialist monitors the health of participants, who receive physical evaluations, psychological screenings, a comprehensive review of treatment follow-up care. To learn more about Kaiser Permanente’s unique approach to cancer care, visit

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A Gentler Approach How Dr. Assia Stepanian is changing her patients’ experience with minimally invasive gynecologic surgery options


s a child, Assia Stepanian, MD, knew that she would make a difference in the field of medicine. The daughter of two renowned physicians, the Moscow-raised founder of Atlantabased Academia Women’s Health & Endoscopic Surgery has brought a wide variety of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS) options to patients in metro Atlanta and devoted herself to sharing her specialized knowledge with physicians worldwide. An active member of the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL), she proudly follows in the footsteps of her mother, Dr. Leila Adamyan, who developed some of the most advanced techniques in the practice of MIGS. Here, Best Self Atlanta talks to Dr. Stepanian about MIGS, her commitment to providing compassionate care and how it can completely change the patient experience.

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Q: What is Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (MIGS)?

A: Laparoscopic, robotic, vaginal and hysteroscopic surgery are all forms of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. These are surgeries performed through small incisions or sometimes require no incision at all. Q: Why has it been important for you to devote so much of your career and life to learn, teach and implement MIGS approaches?

Dr. Assia Stepanian grew up in Moscow, the daughter of two illustrious physicians. In fact, much of her training was supervised by her mother, Dr. Leila Adamyan, the developer of some of the most advanced techniques used today in the practice of Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery. Dr. Stepanian has authored and coauthored articles, book chapters and classifications in gynecology. She has presented nationally and internationally. Her devotion to women’s health was exemplified by her 2001 creation of the first and the leading media resource with the focus of teaching minimally invasive gynecologic surgery worldwide. Dr. Stepanian is quite candid about her devotion to her patients. “My focus is always on learning about the total woman,” she says. “I spend a great deal of time talking with each patient, and I find that I am both teacher and student. It can be an emotional experience for us both. Our visits invariably end with a warm hug. I am extremely fortunate.”

A: A doctor’s sense of fulfillment in medicine comes from seeing our patients happy for many years to come. Minimal intervention, combined with early recognition and successful treatment of the disease are, in my opinion, the keys of our patients’ longterm health. With early recognition of and attention to gynecologic diseases and the risks in their development, the least degree of the intervention will be required. The more we know about minimally invasive approaches in treatment, the more open will we be as physicians to intervene earlier. It is hard for physicians and patients to believe that minimally invasive surgeries can be offered even to patients with very advanced states of gynecologic conditions. Q: What kinds of conditions can be treated with MIGS approaches?

A: It is impressive that essentially all gynecologic conditions that require surgery can be treated with one or more MIGS approaches, including uterine fibroids of sometimes very large sizes, pelvic pain, endometriosis, pelvic floor surgery (including cases in which the uterus descends completely outside of the vaginal canal), urinary incontinence, ovarian masses and adhesions (scar tissue), among other conditions. In addition, multiple forms of genital anomalies can be treated laparoscopically and hysteroscopically. Q: What are the main benefits of MIGS?



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A: Laparoscopy, whether or not it is performed robotically or with laparoscopic instruments, allows for superior visualization of the targeted tissue in surgery and outstanding performance of the surgery through small incisions. Therefore, the precision of surgery increases and tissue handling becomes more intricate

and gentle, with less tissue manipulation and less blood loss. In most surgeries the blood loss is of 25 – 50 ml, which is less than experienced during menstruation. The result includes decreased risk of perioperative infection and an early return to normal activities both in life and work as compares with open surgery. Some people return to work in only one or two weeks after surgery, even if the surgery is performed for an advanced disease. Additionally, there is hardly any use of narcotic medications postoperatively. Motrin is used as the primary medication for pain. Patients who receive the vaginal approach to surgery, which is the oldest of all minimally invasive approaches, have no abdominal incisions whatsoever and experience the same excellent recovery rates as laparoscopy. It is used when evaluation of the abdomen and upper aspect of the pelvis is not required. And hysteroscopy… what can I say? Hysteroscopy became our inspectional and operative window into the woman’s uterus. It allows for early intervention in the office setting or surgical suites and often prevents the need for more invasive uterine surgery. Q: Have you had formal training in MIGS?

A: The American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopicsts (AAGL) has a very strong fellowship in MIGS and offers formalized training. I have completed my formal fellowship with Dr. Thomas Lyons, an exceptional surgeon and visionary who founded one of the first Minimally Invasive Fellowships in AAGL. My initial training and continuous training in laparoscopy, hysteroscopy and vaginal surgery was performed by my mother, Professor Leila Adamyan, the author of surgical techniques, classifications, books, who has taught many beautiful surgeons in Russia and in various countries. She is my primary mentor in life and surgery, and through her I have met and learned from our many good friends and superb surgeons worldwide. Q: Your practice has been certified as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology Surgery. What does this mean?

A: The concept of a Center of Excellence in MIGS has been established in an effort to encourage development in

9/23/15 9:29 AM

Q: Your practice is also known for offering truly compassionate care. Why is this important to you?

A: It defines the entire purpose of my work. I am in the medical field because of my love for patients. I treat my patients as my family—with love, expectation, understanding, attention and compassion. I hope to always be able to empower and remind them that the world is beautiful and that whatever goes on with their heath is just a small hiccup in their life journey. I am truly blessed by my patients, and I am thankful to them for their trust, love and support. Q: Can patients come to your practice even if you are not their current physician?

A: Yes, we are always accepting new patients and we are also very fortunate to receive referrals from many wonderful

physicians. We evaluate those patients and establish a care plan. I always communicate with the referring physicians about any questions in order to make sure that the best strategies are selected and the risks are minimized for patients. If we select non-surgical approaches, we agree on parameters, after which additional intervention may need to be considered. Q: What do you see for the future of MIGS and women’s healthcare?

A: MIGS will continue to develop in its applications and advancements. Performance of MIGS involves advanced training, and I would like to see more gynecologists obtain formal training in minimally invasive approaches to surgery. I also see us collaborating with other specialties, engaging integrative approaches in studying and treating a disease. Unification of the world of MIGS will be yet another advancement: we need patients, doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance companies and manufacturers to combine their knowledge and abilities to serve the needs of the patients.

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Q: Is there any place for an open surgery in benign gynecology, then?

A: Absolutely, there is! There are very rare times when MIGS is contraindicated or would not be the method of choice. A consultation with a specialist in MIGS would be able to address this most effectively.

©2015 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Inc. All rights reserved. FND

MIS approaches in gynecology. We are hoping that with the opening of more Centers of Excellence, there will be more commitment to minimally invasive surgery.

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Q: How do I know what carbohydrates I should have before my workout, and which I should avoid? A: There is a lot of misinformation

Photos (clockwise from top left) courtesy of McGinnis Leathers, DEFINE studio, Madison James, Mel Burton Images


bestfitness out there about carbohydrates. Most people think of them in two forms: bread and pasta. What many don’t know is that carbohydrates can also be in the form of sugar, which is a functional and important fuel for athletes. Research has shown carbs in this form, available in sports drinks like Gatorade, before and/or during exercise lasting 60+ minutes can help maintain blood glucose levels, maintain high rates of carbohydrate burning and may help improve performance. Jennifer Ketterly, registered dietitian and Director of Sports Nutrition at University of Georgia

Q: How can chiropractic help to increase my performance?

Define Your Life Holistic fitness studio DEFINE Body & Mind recently opened its first Georgia location, offering signature classes that incorporate barre, hammocks and yoga to help clients shape up. The studio will also offer fitness classes for children and nutrition classes that will focus on the importance of whole food. Clients can also enjoy perks such as childcare, access to DEFINE’s own line of foods, monthly workshops and more. Details: 1833 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA,

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A: Brain impulses travel through the spinal cord to the nerves to feed your organs and muscles. When bones pinch nerves, impulses lessen and the body’s function is compromised. This is called a subluxation, and at 100 Percent, we use X-rays to find and correct them. This allows the body to heal and get stronger. Strength, speed and performance follow because the body is able to function optimally. This is why top athletes have chiropractors.

By Madison James, radio/TV personality and lifestyle enthusiast

Samantha March-Howard, DC, CHC, 100 Percent Chiropractic Dunwoody

Exhale On the Count of 3 Pull on your grippy socks, fitness fiends! Exhale Inman Park opens October 1, giving you a third Atlanta location to complete your core classes, cardio training and barre workouts. Details: 280 Elizabeth Street NE, Atlanta, GA, (678) 539-1220,

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Now that the weather has cooled down bit, it might be the time to try something new. I love to train outside. Have you tried bike riding? There are lots of great trails and paths in the Atlanta area. Before you strike out, make sure you have the right gear. I came across this brand of bike helmets called Nutcase. They make great bike helmets that allow you to show your personality. Nutcase makes fun helmets for youth and adults, and prices range from $50 to $70. I purchased mine at my local REI store. Check out their website and find out where you can get your cool bike helmet.




9/23/15 9:29 AM



bestbeauty By Laura Carson Miller


Glow Through the Seasons






“Why feel blah when you can feel BLAM?” asked celebrity makeup artist Bethany Karlyn when we discussed the issue of post-summer skin. As an answer to that question, she created Prtty Peaushun (pronounced like “pretty potion”), a luminous body lotion that’s gaining international attention. Her natural, vegan formula is infused with organic botanicals, essential oils and antioxidants to hydrate, pamper and revitalize your skin. You can temporarily create a sun-kissed effect on any skin tone or preserve, protect and extend a natural tan. The sunny grapefruit scent is as uplifting as a beach vacation, so for just $39, summer doesn’t have to end. Details:

Be Bella Alethea Tinkle, local aesthetician and owner of Bella By Alethea med spa, has launched the Be Bella Skincare line. Exclusive to her spa and boutique, the products include active ingredients for dramatic results. Try options like the Be Fresh Antioxidant Cleanser for $31, the Be Radiant Vitamin C Towelettes for $24, or shell out a little more for the luxurious Be Bright Eye Repair cream at $77.

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Standing Up for Our Sisters


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. These women represent mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Victims of domestic violence often feel ashamed, alone and unable to live to their full potential. Beyond the victim, domestic violence impacts children who witness it in their homes, family members and friends who are often ill-equipped to help and employers who do not understand why (L-R) Kit Gruelle, Elaine Chandler and April McConnell will all speak at GCADV's luncheon this month the victim is missing work or unable to effectively perform her job. the Transitional Housing Project; and providing coordinated Domestic violence programs across the state provide hotlines, access to shelters throughout the state via the Statewide legal advocacy, emergency shelters and transitional housing Domestic Violence Hotline. programs enabling victims and their families to heal, recover To support this important work, The Atlanta Woman’s Club is and move toward a violence-free life. The Georgia Coalition hosting the “Stand Luncheon” to raise awareness and funds Against Domestic Violence (GCADV) works to build the for GCADV on Sunday, October 11, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at The capacity of these programs and community organizations to Wimbish House. One of the afternoon’s guest speakers is provide safe, compassionate, inclusive, trauma-informed and Kit Gruelle, domestic violence survivor and subject of the accessible services to victims and their families. HBO documentary “Private Violence.” The luncheon will also GCADV does this by supporting specific victim populations, feature a “Beautiful You: Bags, Bangles, & Baubles” silent such as the deaf/hard of hearing population through The auction. Tickets are $40 and are available now at Disabilities Project for the Deaf; analyzing and addressing trends and service barriers through The Fatality Review – Information courtesy of Georgia Coalition Against Project; assisting victims with self-sufficiency goals through Domestic Violence

Start Giving Back Today! Their great work: This nonprofit organization provides free clothing, infant equipment and developmental toys to thousands of children in Georgia’s foster and relative care. Support them: On October 26, the foundation will host their 4th Annual FosterCares’ Kids Classic golf tournament at White Columns Country Club. Six days a week, you can also help sort clothing and toys, do crafts with kids and more. Visit for full details.



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Fix Georgia Pets Their great work: This nonprofit’s mission is to decrease Georgia’s pet overpopulation issue by making spay and neuter services affordable. Support them: On October 20, Fix Georgia Pets will hold their annual Auction Affair in Buckhead. This Beatlesthemed night includes hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails, auctions and more. You can also provide ongoing support by doing community outreach as an FGP Ambassador or at their Spay Days. Visit for full details.

Photos courtesy of GCADV (top)

Foster Care Support Foundation

9/23/15 9:51 AM

thegive-back guide Featured events

For a complete list of upcoming events, visit

Oct. 3 – Oct. 9 DISTRICT DESIGN WEEK This week will feature trunk shows, styling parties, tastings and a fashion show to benefit Friends of Atlanta Waterworks.

Oct. 4 “ANGELS OF LIFE” HAIR & FASHION SHOW Three-13 Salon, Spa & Boutique hosts this fashion show to benefit the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

Oct. 10 BROOKHAVEN CHILI COOK OFF Cheer on chili teams as they vie for $2500 in prizes and awards at this free festival benefiting Releash Atlanta.

Oct. 16-18 SUSAN G. KOMEN 3-DAY JOURNEY This popular three-day 60-mile walk

benefits Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer research.

Oct. 18 AIDS WALK ATLANTA & 5K The walk/run benefits seven organizations that provide imperative services for Atlantans living with AIDS. aidswalkatlanta. com

THE BUDDY WALK Enjoy a scenic walk around Centennial Park at this familyfriendly event that includes games, bouncy houses and more for Down Syndrome.

Oct. 25 MERRICK’S WALK FOR EDIN This 2.7-mile walk around Chastain Park supports the Eating Disorders Information Network as they work to promote healthy body image and prevent eating disorders.

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Tracy Nicole By Beth Carter


t s e B f sel

With more than a decade of experience in the fashion industry, Atlanta designer Tracy Nicole has achieved national recognition and built a celebritystudded client roster through her Tracy Nicole Clothing line. Just a few years ago, Tracy had achieved success in her work and as a mom to two girls, but everything changed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 30s. Tracy’s in remission now, but she learned some valuable lessons during a tough season of her life.

Where did your passion for fashion begin?

It started really, really early with my grandmother. Every closet in her house was full of shoes and clothes. I taught myself to sew in high school, and I could cut out some fabric, sew it up into an outfit and wear it that night. But I grew up in a household where being creative was not supported; you became a doctor or lawyer. So I studied Occupational Therapy at Florida A&M University. After school, I started working seven days a week and became a workaholic. I made a lot of money but wasn’t fulfilled. So I applied to fashion school and took classes at night. I realized how much I loved fashion because I’d work a full 12-hour day and then go to fashion school and feel like the day had just started.

How did you transition to a full-time fashion career?

In my Fashion Merchandising class, I created a business plan and eventually used the plan to open my Tracy Nicole store in Smyrna. I carried at least 50 different designers. After five years I was ready to do my own thing, so I closed the store and opened a design studio. Then two years into opening the studio, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

How was the cancer discovered?

Photo courtesy of Sawyer Photography, hair and makeup by Nyssa Green, The Green Room Agency

My mother is a three-time breast cancer survivor, so I had been heavily involved with breast cancer awareness. I even donated profits from my store opening to Susan G. Komen. My sister and I would talk about going to get mammograms, and we finally made an appointment. My sister’s tests were negative, and mine weren’t. That was a blow – totally unexpected – and I didn’t know what to do. I was thankful I went to get tested, but it wasn’t supposed to be like this. I decided to have an elective bilateral mastectomy.

How did you deal with your diagnosis?

I started to look for other young people’s stories that had breast cancer, but the ones I found were heart-wrenching, and that’s not what I wanted to read right then. I decided to start a blog called “Beneath the Petals,” and it tells my story from day one. It has allowed me to open up, heal and deal with those feelings. I had over 15,000 views of my blog, and I ended up healing other people with it.

How did cancer treatment affect you?

I had doctor’s appointments once a week, and that was my only outing, so I would dress up. When you go through a surgery like mine, there are a lot of tubes and bandages, and it was difficult to find something to wear. That’s where the occupational therapist in me met the fashion designer, and I designed clothes to work around that. That would take my mind off of everything, and the focus would be on the clothes.

Where do you draw inspiration for your clothes?

Traveling and people watching inspire me. I think of wanting to look good and feel good but still be comfortable in the clothes. I enjoy taking trips outside of the country. Anytime I need inspiration, I just go somewhere new!

What habits help you be your best self?

I am a big stickler for eating healthy and exercising. When you’re taking care of your body and exercising, you feel healthier, and I feel like that makes you healthier. 62


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We all want to make healthy choices. At Kaiser Permanente, you’ll get a wide selection of doctors to choose from. So you can find the one with the experience and the personality that best fits you and your needs. And if you ever change your needs or your mind, you can change your doctor at any time. Visit today because together we thrive. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., Nine Piedmont Center 3495 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 (404) 364-7000



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