Cancer Care With A Compassionate Focus | Topstories


Monica Behan is no stranger to developing skin care products designed to help others heal.

Several years ago, she worked with a group of cosmetic chemists to create the Modicum line, a skin cell nutrient system containing strong antioxidant benefits for cellular rejuvenation. This line of organic-based products offers anti-aging benefits, and helps to treat skin conditions such as scarring, acne, eczema, burns and psoriasis.

It was actually a traumatic snowmobile accident that was the catalyst for the development of the Modicum line. During a trip to the Canadian Rockies, Ms. Behan’s snowmobile unexpectedly plunged into a deep crevasse, and she was left with several broken bones, facial lacerations and a fear of permanent nerve damage and scarring.

Plastic surgery was suggested by her physicians, but instead, the Northern New York resident turned to the healing power of plants. Her motivation came from her mother, who had raised eight children and was a strong believer in the secret health super powers that could be found in nature.

Following her accident, Ms. Behan began to extensively research plant chemistry and created a restorative plant-based skin healing serum with a combination of essential oils and organic-based ingredients. The serum not only helped to rejuvenate her skin naturally, but she was left with no scars from her accident.

After years of hard work and dedication, Ms. Behan firmly established the Modicum skin care line in the world of beauty and wellness. The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial products are sold throughout the United States and Europe on Amazon and her own company website. They have been featured in both national and international beauty industry publications.

Life was good and her business was expanding. Then her husband, Eric, was diagnosed with cancer.

While he received “excellent care” for his condition, the inevitable side effects of radiation treatments caused his skin to become extremely irritated, Ms. Behan said.

“I searched for a plant-based product that would help with the side effects of his cancer treatments,” she said. “I didn’t want him to use anything that might affect his immune system. But I was surprised when I could not find something for him.”

That was her motivation to develop a second line of skin care products designed to help with cancer treatment side effects, such as hair loss and scalp irritation from chemotherapy and skin damage from radiation, along with post-operative healing for breasts.

“I wanted to offer a path for people to not only survive, but to thrive,” by establishing a sister company called Modicum Compassionate Care to carry the new product line, she said.

She chose the word “compassionate” as part of the new line to reflect her strong belief in the power of helping others heal by showing them tremendous acts of compassion. “The mind and body benefit when people realize they are not alone in their struggle,” she said.

The new Compassionate Care product line offers people “a moment to pause, to reconnect with themselves,” and a sense of empowerment during a time when they may be feeling powerless in their struggle against cancer, she said.

As with her initial skin care product line, the new Compassionate Care products are plant-based and have undergone several studies to prove their effectiveness. Extensive information about the ingredients and their healing properties may be found on the company website: The new line is available for sale on the company website.

To make the new products even more accessible, Ms. Behan established the nonprofit Compassionate Care Foundation to accept donations that would allow the Modicum company to offer the products free of charge to cancer patients receiving treatment at facilities throughout Northern New York. Those interested in applying for the program should e-mail [email protected].

“We’ve received a lot of support” to establish the nonprofit organization, which is still accepting donations, Ms. Behan said. Any business, organization or individual who would like to contribute should e-mail Ms. Behan at [email protected].

Jennifer Cring, Sackets Harbor, decided to try the Modicum Essential Recovery: Hair & Scalp product after losing her hair following weeks of chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.

The results were astounding, she said. “I was worried how and if my hair would grow back,” she said. “My scalp was also very irritated and itchy.” After using the product, Mrs. Cring said she was “blown away by the results.” Within a week, her hair started growing back. “My hair typically grows slow, so I was very surprised,” she said. “I even took photos of my weekly progress.”

“By end of week three, it looked like a full head of hair,” she said. “I even had people comment how much they liked my short hairstyle.”

Mrs. Cring completed her final round of chemotherapy last July and is still in remission. She must get checked every few months to make sure the cancer has not returned.

“Just the aromatherapy aspect right away made me feel like there was compassion for what I was going through,” she said. “The lavender scent was wonderful for my mind and my body.”

Ms. Behan has also been collaborating with several highly skilled integrative medical practitioners throughout Northern New York to offer their services through local cancer treatment centers, and is working to develop a referral system for those needing help navigating their options for integrative care.

Many cancer treatment centers throughout the country have joined with integrative practitioners in recent years to provide comfort and relief for those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments.

“For example, people have received hand or foot massages during chemotherapy” to help alleviate stress and mitigate the side effects of the drugs, Ms. Behan said.

Other types of integrated care options for those dealing with the side effects of cancer treatments include reiki, yoga and meditation. “We’re hoping to combine complementary practitioners with traditional cancer treatment to assist people in their recovery,” she said. “We’re so excited about this project.

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