Breast Cancer Awareness Beauty

I first came up with the concept of Insurancewith, a travel insurance provider, after I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. During a break between finishing chemotherapy and waiting for surgery I was advised to take a holiday by my oncologist. However when I tried to arrange travel insurance for the holiday I found that I was either turned down for cover or quoted premiums of thousands of pounds.

Before my diagnosis I was a Lloyd’s insurance broker, so I understood risk. The companies I spoke to could not explain to me why I was such a risk that warranted the large premiums being quoted – after all, they were only insuring my holiday not my life! I knew that there must be a better way to do this and the result was Insurancewith. We have, with the help of the underwriters, created a completely bespoke medical screening system which enables us to offer a tailored travel insurance policy for anyone with a medical condition. We can fully assess the risk the customer poses and therefore give a more realistic premium. The perception of conditions such as breast cancer can be scary, however nowadays cancer is an extremely treatable disease and our travel insurance premiums reflect this.

For my everyday beauty regime, I have some favourites which I use again and again. After I had my mastectomy which included a full lymph node clearance, I was advised to keep my left arm well moisturised (the nodes were removed from under my left arm pit) to prevent lymphoedema, which is where the body swells as the lymph nodes are not there to drain away the infection.  

Moisturising daily keeps the skin supple which reduces the risk of the skin cracking which can cause an infection. Keeping my skin well moisturised is a top priority for me as it ensures that my skin stays as healthy as possible. Furthermore, the radiotherapy I had to my chest area also damaged the skin there so that area also needs special attention to keep it supple and healthy.

Arancia di Capri

Neal’s Yard essential oils were another discovery during my cancer treatment. The oils helped me combat nausea during chemotherapy and relaxed me when I felt everything was becoming too much. I now use their calming and energising aromatherapy candles every day. They fill the house with the most fabulous aromas.

Karen Hodkinson