Wellesley, Massachusetts (PRBuzz.com) February 29, 2012 -- When Weston Road resident Theresa Keresztes visited Hungary in 2007 it turned out to be more than a family vacation. She discovered a very effective skin cream for her face that would -- although she didn't know it at the time -- become what she used to treat the dermatitis she got from radiation treatment for breast cancer. When she was out in the Hungarian countryside, in a little town with "ladies with little babushkas wearing folk dress," Keresztes visited an apothecary at which she found a cream that contained rose hips. She decided to make it her new skin care cream. Prior to her vacation, on a mammogram she'd had at a local hospital, a suspicious lump showed up. "I didn't really want to believe it ...," Keresztes said. After the family returned from vacation Keresztes decided that she should probably get a second opinion and went to Massachusetts General Hospital. She remembers the surgeon saying, 'I think it's just the normal aging of the breast tissue,' to which she replied, "I love what you have to say, but why don't you look at all my mammograms." The surgeon decided Keresztes should have additional mammograms taken at MGH. After a biopsy that turned into a lumpectomy in October 2007, she had another surgery in November, to make sure there were clean margins. In 2008, she began radiation treatment at MGH.
Prior to using the cream in the affected area, "nothing was working," Keresztes said. Her husband Steve said, 'Why don't you try that Hungarian stuff?'" Even he had noticed the improvement in her complexion. The cream is called My Girls Skin Care (formerly known as My Girl's Radiation Cream). According to the My Girls Cream website, the product contains a blend of Hungarian calendula, rosemary, honey, and beeswax, plus other natural oils that help maintain the skin's moisture balance. Keresztes said that what people seem to like most about My Girls Skin Care cream is that it spreads easily over burns or compromised skin that may result after radiation treatments. She compares the consistency to whipped cream.
Keresztes, the mother of a daughter, Ava, 8, and son, Stephen, 5, said she actually felt a lima bean-size lump in her breast in 2003, when her daughter was 10 months old. She went to the hospital and remembered staff rushing in after a mammogram with concerned looks on their faces, telling her that she had calcifications. The doctor told her to return in six months for another mammogram, but Keresztes said the doctor never explained that calcifications in some cases could indicate breast cancer. At the time Keresztes said her father had just died, her mother was getting Alzheimer's disease, she had a new baby and was working full time. Life was busy. She didn't go back for that six-month check-up. "I just totally blew if off," Keresztes said. "And that is what became my cancer by '07."
Before starting her skin care business, Keresztes worked as a consultant for a technology-consulting firm and also as an account supervisor at Hill Holiday. After taking what Keresztes calls a "sort of a circuitous route," she refers to what she does now as a "course correction."
She finds her work rewarding and appreciates the fact that although her work is 24/7 she can be at home with her family while doing it.
Keresztes is always available to talk with people. She said, "When they call you up they want to talk about the cream, but they really want to talk about their fear. It can be tough."
Her own cancer, called DCIS breast cancer, was confined to the milk duct, which she said has a 99 percent cure rate. "It was caught at stage zero." Keresztes said. When asked what she would now if she found a lump again she said, "I'd go right away."