Safe Screen

Safe Screen

Take Your Pick

Two lab results by the same doctor on the same day, reveal two completely different results.

           “Breast cancer should be the #1 issue for any woman.

             They should all be saying “enough of this bullshit”.”

By Niki Smart * Photographed by Jared Rubin

This is a personal story for me because I’ve suffered with dense, fibrocystic breasts since forever. I was 15 when I had my first scare due to severe lumps, resulting in a breast aspiration. My lumps have gone on and on, and I know that caffeine exacerbates lumps, ergo I’ve always been careful with my caffeine intake.
Be that as it may, I’ve had several more cysts aspirated; I’ve had lumps surgically removed; I’ve had 2 biopsies, and it’s just no fun whatsoever. Each time a new mass appears, I worry that I have cancer, and dread the procedure that I’m about to face. Since I’m quite small-framed and don’t have much breast tissue, mammograms are fairly painful (I believe they’re painful even if you have ample breast tissue). I’ve grown to loathe mammograms, not only because they’re painful but because they’re 100% guaranteed to be inconclusive for my breast type, which means an ultrasound will soon follow. That too, is usually inconclusive, and then the surgeon will start digging about in my breast – which is scary, painful and expensive on top of everything else.
To add to my confusion/frustration, I once received two different results (they arrived on the same day).from a mammogram done at Kaiser Permanente
One letter said – you are in the clear, no follow up needed.
The other said – you urgently need a biopsy.
Both letters were signed on the same day, by the same doctor. Not very reassuring is it?
Another thing of note was that every lump that required attention was always in my right breast. You’d think that would have been a clue for any doctor right? Apparently not.
Finally, after years of scares and strange lumps, the biggest mass of all showed up on my mammogram results.
“That’s a 50% chance of being cancer,” the department head nurse at Kaiser Permanente told me when I refused to have a “core” biopsy.
I was sick and tired of people cutting and digging into my breast and I just couldn’t bear to have another biopsy. Plus, I’ve heard that if you do have cancer, a biopsy can sometimes actually spread the cancer cells. Whether or not that’s true, I can’t say, but it certainly puts me off. So I went on a mission to find out what alternative non-invasive tests were out there to determine breast health.
I went for Thermography – an infrared heat reading that can pinpoint cancer. I went for Suretouch – similar to an ultrasound experience but it detects differences in hardness under the layers of soft tissue, and professes to be able to catch cancer 5 years ahead of a mammogram.
Both the Thermography and the Suretouch are painless and radiation free, but they couldn’t completely put my mind at ease. They both registered a large mass in my right breast, and both results said it didn’t seem likely to be cancer, but they couldn’t 100% guarantee this.
A friend told me about Dr. Kelly and his SonoCiné ultrasound – she didn’t just tell me about him, she sang his praises, so I made an appointment with Dr. Kelly.

Okay – so what is this technique? The SonoCiné is an automated whole breast ultrasound – a simple procedure similar to a regular ultrasound, but more thorough.
First of all, you have to wear a mesh vest – a proprietary camisole developed for the SonoCiné that fits like a sports bra. This helps to hold your breasts in place (which is especially helpful for women with larger breasts), and prevents the technologist from going over the same area twice. Next, you have a hydrogel nipple pad placed over your areola to flatten it, which prevents any shadows from causing a false reading. (Dr. Kelly has a patent on this nipple pad).
You lie on your back as your technician scans your upper areas with a hand held roller device capturing rows sequentially from below the collarbone to the lower margin of the breast. Then the SonoCiné machine relays the images to film.

Dr. Kelly stresses that it’s important to train the technologist to make enough images – 3mm apart at the most, so when watching the film, one can spot cancer small enough to stop it becoming a problem.
Once I was done being scanned, Dr. Kelly watched my film with me at his side. He pointed out everything he was
seeing, and assured me that my large mass was definitely NOT cancer. Well, I just wanted to kiss him for that alone, but then he asked me a question that no other health professional in 30+ years has ever asked me.
“What do you do on the right side of your body that is different form the left? Do you carry your handbag on your right shoulder?”
I had to think for a moment – then it came to me.
“I play guitar and the body of the guitar hits me exactly on my right breast.”
“That’s it” Dr. Kelly smiled. “The vibration from your guitar has altered the tissue in your right breast.”
He further explained that violin players can get this same tissue distortion in their necks from the vibration of their violins. Well, now I wanted to kiss and hug and squeeze Dr. Kelly, not only because he is adorable and the sweetest man, but because he had solved a life-long issue for me. Thank you a million times, Dr. Kelly.


I was so impressed with Dr. Kelly that I had to go back and interview the good doctor – because this man deserves attention – as do your breasts.

How long have you been in the “breast” business?
I’ve been a radiologist since 1975, and solely a breast radiologist since 1982. I realized that I could improve on the current ultrasound technology and by 1998 I’d come up with SonoCiné. Two years later (in 2000) I had a test run on 500 women. On one woman, the SonoCiné detected a cancer in each breast – her right and left – neither mammogram, nor ultrasound had picked up these cancers. This is when I knew I was definitely right – up until then my ideas had been theoretic.

Why is the SonoCiné better for dense breasts?
A mammogram stacks images and cancer is like a bear in the forest – fatty, or dense breasts have many leaves – meaning, mammograms aren’t great for dense breasts. Plus a mammogram has the extra risk of radiation and SonoCiné avoids the radiation. The SonoCiné can catch cancer at 10mm or less. 40-50% of cancers are felt before they are seen on a mammogram. By this time their size is 17mm-25mm.

Can you tell me more about your text and drive theory?
The human brain can’t successfully text and drive at the same time. You may think you can, but your brain physically can’t focus completely on both tasks at the same time – they require the same part of the brain to do. Same thing with a regular ultrasound. The technician is reading the monitor at the same time as focusing on sliding the roller across your chest. If you separate the two actions, there is less room for error and if you improve the gathering of information by having the images closer together – then the readings will be easier. With the SonoCiné reading, you give the film your entire attention in a distraction-free environment. This method of review has been shown to increase the detection of cancers as small as 5mm – 10mm in size.

What about MRIs as a way to screen for cancer of the breast?
People may think an MRI is the way to be sure – but MRI injects heavy metal into your system. In a tight spot, an MRI is okay, but you can’t use it once a year as a screening procedure. That would be reckless as the gadolinium stays with you and ends up in brain and your bones.

How many SonoCiné machines are there?
There are now 50 SonoCiné machines worldwide.

How many women do you see in a month on average?
About 100.

Do you think there are a lot of unnecessary biopsies/removals?
Ultrasound is more definitive – but understanding is variable in this country.
In UK, Europe and Canada – they are better at understanding the images.

What do you recommend for women at this point?
Do both – in the interim.

Do you think we keep doing mammograms because it’s cheaper for the medical field? Insurance companies? Is it expensive to replace the machinery?
Oh yes. This is a game changer. Disruptive technology means someone loses.

Talking of money, where do you get your funding?
The Bank of Kelly. I’ve put everything into this. I’ve even mortgaged my house, which didn’t make my wife too happy, I can tell you. But I know that about 3000 women die every month from breast cancer in America alone. The rate is higher in China, with 1 woman per minute. There are approximately 190,000 new cases of breast cancer annually. And about 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer. Breast cancer should be the #1 issue for any woman. They should all be saying “enough of this bullshit”.

Here at SoCal magazine, we couldn’t agree more.

For more information on Dr. Kelly’s SoneCine click here


Other Screenings without Radiation
SureTouch: The SureTouch Breast Exam is painless, radiation free and delivers immediate results. Breasts are examined quickly and comfortably without compression. The patented, hand-held, SureTouch sensor glides easily over the entire breast and underarm area and detects differences in hardness under the layers of soft tissue. Its 192 sensing elements capture and document the shape, location, size and hardness of breast lesions.  Any breast lesions are displayed on the SureTouch console screen in multi-dimensional full-color images. Because images are digitally stored for future reference, results can be tracked and compared for changes over time.

Digital Infrared Imaging detects the heat produced by increased blood vessel circulation and metabolic changes associated with a tumor’s genesis and growth. A thermography session can detect thermal signs that may suggest a pre-cancerous state of the breast, or signs of cancer at an extremely early stage. However, Digital Infrared Imaging does not have the ability to detect 100% of all cancers. Consequently, Digital Infrared Imaging’s role is in addition (to mammography and physical examination, not in lieu of.




The Los Angeles Premiere of “NAKED IN ALASKA” opens at BOOTLEG Theater’s SOLO QUEENS FEST Saturday, October 28, at 7:30 P.M.
Valerie Hager’s Award-Winning Show – (Plays through November 19)
Directed by Scott Wesley Slavin

After three sold-out, award-winning runs in international Fringe Festivals (New York City, Edinburgh, and Chicago), Valerie Hager’s autobiographical solo play about her years stripping in the Alaskan frontier will open at Bootleg Theater on Saturday, October 28.

The recipient of the 2013 Award for Outstanding Solo Performance from the New York City International Fringe Festival, 2013 Audience Favorite Award from the Chicago Fringe Festival, 2014 Pick of the Fest Award from Edinburgh’s The New Current Magazine, and Time Out New York’s four-star Critic’s Pick and Recommended Show, “Naked In Alaska” is a visceral, fire-hot experience not-to-be-missed.

Valerie Hager is a former exotic dancer and award-winning writer-performer. She’s also a movement artist, a teacher, and founder of SOLOfire Workshops through which she teaches movement-based story-creation to individuals and groups across the U.S.

Bootleg Theater, named by Time Out as one of Los Angeles’ “best performing arts centers,” is a year-round, inclusive art space for original, boundary-defying live theater, music, and dance performances. Bootleg Theater is proud to present its first-ever SOLO QUEENS FEST, featuring solo performances by local female artists. Bootleg has a fierce belief in the power of women in Art to create change in the world, and this festival will celebrate women and their life experiences.

For ticket info click here (showtimes vary). Tickets are $15 Stud/Sen, $20 GA, and group discounts are available.
Tickets for Valerie’s solo technique workshop “SOLOfire – a Writing and Movement Workshop”  – are $30.

Bootleg Theater is located at 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057
Street parking and a free lot is available at the church across the street at the intersection of Beverly and Roselake.

UVO – Drink your Sun Protection

UVO – Drink your Sun Protection

One of the perks of working for a magazine is you sometimes receive free samples, and recently, a box of 30 packets of powdered vitamins showed up on my doorstep. Meet UVO – the first drinkable sunblock. This little dynamo packet was formulated by Board Certified Dermatologist, Bobby Awadalla MD. to circumvent negative short and long-term effects of the sun’s harmful UV rays. UVO is the first vitamin supplement specifically formulated to help protect and repair your skin from the inside out. I place the powder in a bottle – add water – shake it well – and drink throughout the day. With an orange-peach flavor, it tastes great, and I feel like my skin has improved over the last few weeks while I’ve been using UVO. (Don’t drink on an empty stomach if you’re sensitive).

Yes, winter is headed our way, but in So Cal that doesn’t mean no sunshine. And perhaps your skin needs a boost after a summer of tanning? Plus, with no adverse effects, UVO is good for your entire body – so why not give it a try?

  • No Preservatives
  • No Artificial Flavors
  • 30+ Vitamins, Antioxidants and Phytonutrients Scientifically Proven to Work
  • Does Not Contain Chemicals Found In Sunscreen
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMO
  • For more info click here
Boobie Trap – An Enormously Entertaining Variety Show

Boobie Trap – An Enormously Entertaining Variety Show

Every Wednesday night, comedic host, Scot Nery, brings together a madcap ensemble of jugglers, comics, sword swallowers, acrobats, clowns, knife throwers, magicians, yo-yoers (yes, there is such a thing), contortionists and more.
Running for 126 weeks straight (with each show being unique), Scot Nery’s Boobie Trap hosts world class entertainers who sign on for a 4-minute slot on stage before they’re played off by the kick-ass house band.
On any given Wednesday you might see Chris Ruggerio juggling knives while balancing on a ball, or Nick Paul making bottles of wine appear out of thin air. Perhaps Bonnie Morgan contorting her body into a small glass box, or Mark Hayward using a yo-yo to remove objects from ears. Possibly you’ll witness the Steben Sisters gracefully synchronized and hanging by their toes from the ceiling, or you’ll experience the ridiculously funny Sethward who can delight and terrify you at the same time. You might even get to see Scot Nery crawl about on (and under) the stage with a screwdriver, making sure the stage is stable while the band’s bass player, Peter Hastings improvises silly songs. You’re very likely see Scot Nery fling himself about the stage while he does pushups, talks about raccoons, and balances objects on his chin. What I’m telling you is this: by the end of the evening your mind will be electrified, your face will hurt from over-smiling, and you’ll be eating snacks because…well, they throw them at you.

I highly recommend –  truly the best variety act around town.

6555 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90028

(323) 632-6735
Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $17 in advance and $25 at the door. For tickets, click here.
All photos by Richard M. Johnson

Halloween Happenings

Halloween Happenings

Dark Horse
Dark Harbor, Southern California’s most authentically terrifying haunt, returns to the Queen Mary on select nights Sept. 28 – Nov. 1 with MORE monsters, MORE nights, and MORE mazes than ever before. All-new maze, FEAST, and Dark Harbor’s newest resident spirit, Chef, will make their horrific debuts along with the return of the infamous spirits of Iron Master, Captain, Samuel the Savage, Graceful Gale, Half-Hatch Henry, Scary Mary, Voodoo Priestess, Ringmaster, and hundreds of their bloodcurdling henchmen.

Public Opening: Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Dates: Select nights, Sept. 28 through Nov. 1

The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802

  • Swelter with fear in FEAST Maze, 4th maze onboard the ship, for a terrifying journey into the legend of Chef
  • Venture into the frozen depths of Chef’s Meat Locker for a unique 7-degree ice bar experience
  • Stumble upon the secret hidden sidebar inside one of Dark Harbor’s mazes for a one-of-a-kind experience


  • INTREPID: Meet the mastermind, the creator and now the protector of the Queen Mary, Iron Master.
  • CIRCUS: Step right up as the Ringmaster startles with disorienting illusions, maniacal magic acts, and a cadre of sideshow freaks.
  • DEADRISE: Captain and the dark vessel’s crew have risen from the deep for a battle against the living.
  • SOULMATE: Escape the gloves of Graceful Gale as she feverishly searches for her eternal mate.
  • B340: Descend into the insidious mind of Samuel the Savage to face his worst nightmares.
  • LULLABY: Hush Hush don’t cry; Scary Mary is just looking for her next playmate


  • SIDESHOW: Step ‘backstage”, rub elbows with resident freaks, take in a show or a drink at the secret bar
  • CREEPY CABANAS: Host a private soiree, order a freak show, enjoy instant access to Sideshow & Swings
  • R.I.P. LOUNGE: Hover above Dark Harbor at the exclusive ghost-eye-view VIP bar with all-you-can-eat tacos
  • SINISTER SWINGS: Take a spin on the infamous Neverland Ranch Ride
  • MAINSTAGE: DJ spins between a variety of nightly entertainment shows, plus special guest performances.

TICKETS: General admission tickets start at just $24 online. Fast Fright, VIP and the Ultimate Scream Experience are available. Purchase tickets:


  • $40 for Premium Parking located in the Queen Mary parking lot
  • $15 for all-new Dark Harbor Express6pm – 1:30am
    • Board the Dark Harbor Express boat service (operated by Aqua Link) at Shoreline Village at the Aquarium of the Pacific for your short boat ride over to the Queen Mary. Round-trip fees on the Dark Harbor Express are $8 per person and the parking structure is located at 248 W. Shoreline Drive in Long Beach.  Cash only.
  • $15 for parking at Long Beach Courthouse6pm – 1:30am
    • Board a shuttle bus for your complimentary ride over to the Queen Mary located at 101 Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Long Beach. Cash only.

 Mr Bones Pumpkin Patch
A Boo-tique Pumpkin Patch by Mr. Bones is located at Platform LA – 8850 Washington
Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
A Boo-tique by Mr. Bones opens from October 7 – October 31, Wednesdays – Sundays
(except October 30 & 31)
The hours are:
Saturday – Sunday, 10am-6pm
Wednesday – Friday, 11am–6pm
October 31, 11am-4pm
Additional hours available for special events and by reservation
This location offers a bountiful selection of fresh and unique pumpkins, exciting
activities for the six and under set, and a posh boo-tique featuring unique and curated
Halloween items for the most discerning witches and ghouls.
A Boo-tique Pumpkin Patch by Mr. Bones sells pumpkins in an incredible array of sizes
and varieties, and at all price points, ranging from just $1 for baby pumpkins to $80 for
 Daily activities at A Boo-tique by Mr. Bones include:
Kid’s Tipi Village
Pumpkin Cottages
Jumping Spider Bounce House
 Additional weekend activities include:
Face painting
Glitter tattoos
Pumpkin decorating

Weekday admission at A Boo-qitue Pumpkin Patch by Mr. Bones is $5 per person over 2.
Children and Adults receive a $5pumpkin coupon with admission.
Activities are always additional Weekday and Weekend.
Special Events have unique pricing.
 Weekend entrance fee is $10 per person, under 2 are free. Children receive 3 free
activity tickets with admission. Adults receive $5 pumpkin coupon with admission.
 Opening Day Special: October 7th, $5 admission to the patch all day, activities are
additional, under 2 are free. Adults and children receive $5 pumpkin coupon with
 Parking is available at the Platform parking structure at 8850 Washington Boulevard and
is not validated.

 Up to 1 hour/ $1
 Up to 2 hours/ $2
 Up to 3 hours/ $5
 4 hours/$10
 5 hours/ $15

 Valet parking is available on Landmark St. and is $12.

Haunted Little Tokyo

WHAT:  Go Little Tokyo proudly presents the inaugural Haunted Little Tokyo for “spook”-tacular events in the heart of LA on select nights October 1 – 31, 2017. Ghosts and Goblins of all ages are invited to experience Little Tokyo this October as the neighborhood transforms with pumpkin patches, ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, free Halloween movie screenings, Little Tokyo ‘haunted’ walking tours, themed drink specials, scrumptious food, and more culminating to the hair-raising fun block party and costume parade on Saturday, October 28.


Experience Little Tokyo like never-before as the heart of Downtown LA transforms for the month of October with spooky themed-activities and frightening fun. Pick your perfect pumpkin at the weekend pumpkin patches by Tanaka Farms at the Japanese Village Plaza and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. Dress up your little monsters for ghoulish games, trick-or-treating, and FREE family-friendly movie screenings including Studio Ghibli’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “My Neighbor Totoro.”  Learn of the legendary Little Tokyo ghost tales and the city’s history in the Little Tokyo haunted walking tours, or test your fears watching classic Japanese horror flicks including the 2002 supernatural film “Ju-on: The Grudge.” Dress your best on October 28 as the month-long celebration culminates to a Little Tokyo block party with a costume parade, bar crawl, live entertainment, special food and drink discounts, and more.


Select nights October 1 – 31, 2017

Block Party is on October 28, 2017

For a full calendar of events visit:


Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles


Free, depending on the activity. For more information please visit


Proudly presented in partnership by Little Tokyo Community Council, Go Little TokyoAnime for HumanityCafe DulceWolf & CraneEast West PlayersJapanese American Cultural & Community CenterKizunaLittle Tokyo VibesMonkey PantsSeoul SausageTanaka FarmsJapanese Village PlazaLittle Tokyo Business Association, The Koban,Baldoria, and Japangeles.

Follow by Email
Visit Us