PINK UP: Hattiesburg breast cancer survivor encourages women to be mindful of chemicals

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - After overcoming her own battle with breast cancer, a Hattiesburg woman started the non-profit organization to help other women in the fight against breast cancer. Through her organization, "The Pink Lady" Celeste Brown encourages women to be more mindful of harmful chemicals they put in their bodies.

Pillows and prayers, care packages, tips and tricks, and a system of support are things Brown offers as a part of her non-profit. Brown completed chemotherapy and radiation coming out on top. However, she still had questions about her diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer.

"It doesn't have any estrogen, progesterone, or hormone, so it's not by any of those, so the nerd in me just want to know a little bit more," Brown said.

Knowing that, it prompted her to do some research of her own.

"There has to be something I'm going to learn through this process that I can do that will help others," she said.

During her research, she came across something right in the palm of her hand.

"I downloaded this app on my phone," she said. "It's called Think Dirty. I always tell people Think Dirty, shop clean."

It's just one of the apps that lists potentially harmful ingredients, carcinogens, and parabens. According to the American Cancer Society, some research suggests chemicals absorbed by the skin can cause changes in estrogen receptors of breast cells.

"I was like we have a lot of stuff in our things," she said. "The FDA does not require cosmetics in those things to list risks on their labels."

To use the app, a user has to scan the products they put on your body. Afterwards, a rating pops up along with a list of ingredients, both good and bad.

"If you ever see me in Target, I probably have my phone out scanning and I'm saying do I want this is this what I like or how is this going to work with what I'm looking for," Brown said.

Though more research is being done on links between chemicals and breast cancer, Brown said it's just one way women can have more control over what goes on and in their bodies.

"You just have to be vigilant for yourself, so basically that's what I tell everybody," she said. "You look at it and you look at your family history. When you're looking at our product you decide is this good for me or is it not and make your own choice."

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