October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

To Honor our Breast Cancer Survivors, the office of Dr. Mark Bishara & The Paragon Med Spa offer Breast Cancer patients Free Radiation Tattoo Removal. For patients who have undergone breast cancer surgery and have completed radiation therapy, we offer free tattoo removal for their radiation tattoos. Please call our office to schedule your appointment at (817) 473-2120.
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Understanding Your Breasts

Many changes will occur in your breasts during your lifetime. Yet, many women do not know much about their breasts unless they breastfeed or they have a problem. Learning about breast structure (anatomy) and how the breasts function can help you understand which changes are normal and which are not. This is a good first step to find out about breast cancer and benign (not cancer) breast conditions.

The breasts are made up of fat and breast tissue, along with nerves, veins, arteries and connective tissue that helps hold everything in place. Throughout puberty and menopause, the look, structure and function of the breasts change.

Age and Breast Cancer

The two most common risk factors for breast cancer are:

  • Being female
  • Getting older

All women are at risk for breast cancer. The risk of getting breast cancer increases as you age. Most breast cancers and breast cancer deaths occur in women aged 50 and older.
No matter your age, you should know how your breasts normally look and feel. If you notice any changes, see your health care provider. Learn about the warning signs of breast cancer.

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer

Warning signs   lumpWarning signs   swelling
Warning signs   change in size or shapeWarning signs   dimpling or puckering
Warning signs   nipple rashWarning signs   pulling in of nipple
Warning signs   nipple dischargeWarning signs   pain

Due to the increased use of mammography, most women in the United States are diagnosed at an early stage of breast cancer, before symptoms appear. However, not all breast cancers are found through mammography.  The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women. Below are more organizations

Susan G. Komen® — promises to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.
For information and support, call 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636), www.komen.org
American Cancer Society — provides medical information, treatment decision tools, news updates and support resources. 1-800-ACS-2345, www.cancer.org
American Society of Clinical Oncology — has goals of improving cancer care and prevention and ensuring that all patients with cancer receive the highest quality care. 1-888-282-2552, www.asco.org
Food and Drug Administration Breast Implant Information — answers questions about breast implants. www.fda.gov
Living Beyond Breast Cancer — offers programs and services to women affected by breast cancer, caregivers and health care providers. 1-888-753-LBBC, www.lbbc.org
This information is brought to you courtesy of Dr. Mark Bishara & The Paragon Med Spa


That tattoo on your arm of a former flame—the one that seemed like a great idea years ago—is kind of embarrassing today. And your spouse is not too crazy about it either.
You may not know that FDA considers the inks used in tattoos to be cosmetics, and the agency takes action to protect consumers when safety issues arise related to the inks.
At the other end of the tattoo process, FDA also regulates laser devices used to remove tattoos.
FDA has cleared for marketing several types of lasers as light-based, prescription devices for tattoo lightening or removal. A Massachusetts company recently received FDA clearance to market its laser workstation for the removal of tattoos and benign skin lesions.
According to a poll conducted, 1 in 8 (14%) of the 21% of American adults who have tattoos regret getting one. And the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) reports that in 2011, its doctors performed nearly 100,000 tattoo removal procedures, up from the 86,000 performed in 2010.
Unfortunately, removing a tattoo is not as simple as changing your mind.
Artists create tattoos by using an electrically powered machine that moves a needle up and down to inject ink into the skin, penetrating the epidermis, or outer layer, and depositing a drop of ink into the dermis, the second layer. The cells of the dermis are more stable compared with those of the epidermis, so the ink will mostly stay in place for a person’s lifetime. Tattoos are meant to be permanent.
An effective and safe way to remove tattoos is through laser removal, performed by a doctor who specializes in tattoo removal.

Lasers Used for Decades

“Laser” stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Pulsed lasers, which emit concentrated light energy in short bursts, or pulses, have been used to remove tattoos for more than 20 years. However, it can be a painstaking process. Complete removal, with no scarring, is sometimes not possible.
FDA clearance means this method for removing tattoos complies with agency requirements for safety and effectiveness. Other methods include dermabrasion—actually “sanding” away the top layer of skin—and excision—cutting away the area of the tattoo and then sewing the skin back together.
There are also do-it-yourself tattoo removal ointments and creams that you can buy online. FDA has not approved these ointments and creams, and is not aware of any clinical evidence that they work. In addition, tattoo removal ointments and creams may cause unexpected reactions, such as rashes, burning, scarring, or changes in skin pigmentation in the process.

How Does It Work?

With laser removal, pulses of high-intensity laser energy pass through the epidermis and are selectively absorbed by the tattoo pigment. The laser breaks the pigment into smaller particles, which may be metabolized or excreted by the body, or transported to and stored in lymph nodes or other tissues.
The type of laser used to remove a tattoo depends on the tattoo’s pigment colors, he adds. Because every color of ink absorbs different wavelengths of light, multi-colored tattoos may require the use of multiple lasers. Lighter colors such as green, red, and yellow are the hardest colors to remove, while blue and black are the easiest.

Does It Hurt?

Some people compare the sensation of laser removal to being spattered with drops of hot bacon grease or snapping a thin rubber band against the skin. A trained doctor will be able to adjust the treatment to the patient’s comfort level.
Generally speaking, just one laser treatment won’t do the trick. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the procedure requires multiple treatments (typically six to 10) depending on a tattoo’s size and colors, and requires 6 weeks of healing time between procedures. Some side effects may include pinpoint bleeding, redness, or soreness, none of which should last for long.
Laser devices are cleared for use by, or under the supervision of, a health care professional. The removal procedure requires using the correct type of laser, understanding the reaction of tissue to laser, and knowing how to treat the area after the procedure.
If you have any concerns about having a tattoo removed, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor, who is knowledgeable about laser treatments.
Our state of the art equipment can help patients see their tattoos fade by 95% or more over the course of multiple treatments. 8-10 treatments is recommended at every 6-8 weeks. Please call the office of Dr. Bishara and The Paragon Med Spa  at (817) 473-2120, for more information and to schedule a consultation appointment.

Introduction to Laser Tattoo Removal

It is estimated that close to 10% of the U.S. population has some sort of tattoo. Eventually, as many as 50% of them want to have laser tattoo removal.
There is good news for those who have an unwanted body design. Newer laser tattoo removal techniques can eliminate your tattoo with minimal side effects. Here’s how it works: lasers remove tattoos by breaking up the pigment colors of the tattoo with a high-intensity light beam.
Black tattoo pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths, making it the easiest to treat. Other colors can only be treated by selected lasers based upon the pigment color.

Who Can Benefit From Laser Tattoo Removal?

Because each tattoo is unique, removal techniques must be tailored to suit each individual case. In the past, tattoos could be removed by a wide variety of methods but, in many cases, the scars were more unsightly than the tattoo itself.
Patients with previously treated tattoos may also be candidates for laser therapy. Tattoos that have not been effectively removed by other treatments or through home remedies may respond well to laser therapy providing the prior treatments did not result in excessive scarring.

How Do I Find a Reputable Doctor to Do Laser Tattoo Removal?

To have a tattoo removed, you want to make sure you find a reputable dermatologist or cosmetic surgery center to ensure proper treatment and care. If possible, you should obtain a recommendation from your family doctor for a dermatologist or skin surgery center that specializes in tattoo removal.

What Can I Expect During Laser Tattoo Removal?

Depending on the size and color of your tattoo, the number of treatments will vary.  You should schedule a consultation, during which time a trained professional will evaluate your personal situation and advise you on the process.
Treatment with the laser varies from patient to patient depending on the age, size and type of tattoo (amateur or professional). The color of the patient’s skin, as well as the depth to which the tattoo pigment extends, will also affect the removal technique.
At Dr. Mark Bishara, MD and The Paragon Med Spa, our state of the art equipment can help patients see their tattoos fade by 95% or more over the course of multiple treatments. 8-10 treatments is recommended every 6-8 weeks.