As often breast cancer patients like myself, will have a distorted reality on what our real choices are after you get a breast cancer diagnosis.
There will be two surgical procedures – the removal of the cancer and the reconstruction.
The types of surgery and treatments will vary from patient to patient. You might have to chose between a Lumpectomy or a Mastectomy, between one or both breast, and you will also need to take a decision on your sometimes very limited reconstruction options. Radiation and chemotherapy.
We all have this pink picture of breast cancer like it’s OK and that most women survive this disease, right? Did you know that young women generally face more aggressive cancers and have a lower survival rates compared to older women.
TO REMOVE THE CANCER
The goal of breast cancer surgery is to remove the tumor and some of the surrounding healthy tissue. Your doctor may recommend a specific operation based on the size, location, or type of breast cancer you have. Some cancers do not leave you choice but to remove the entire breast including the skin and the nipples and most of the times, your lymph nodes as well, which is extremely painful for a long time. The skin is often replaced by skin from another part of your body.
Not only that you are told the worst news of your life but the next few months will be like a dark blur.
WebMD explains the options for breast cancer surgery. Breast Cancer Surgical Procedures
TO RECONSTRUCT THE BREAST
Some people, including myself at first, are under the impression that cancer is a blessing in disguise and a short cut to get a free boob job. Here is a reality check; we do not all have the same options in terms of reconstructions and no matter what surgery the surgeon perform – you will loose any sensation to the breast forever.
Most of the time it is limited to what type of cancer, where it is located, and if it has spread to other parts of the body. It also depends on the stage of your cancer. So if you know someone that is going through breast cancer, don’t say “Lucky, free boobs”! Just saying.
There are in fact 7 types of breast reconstruction performed to this day.
• Expander Implant
• Direct to Implant
• Latissimus Dorsi Flap
• TRAM Flap
• DIEP Flap
• TUG Flap
• GAP Flap, Other Free Flaps
View the details each surgery directly on this website Breast Reconstruction Resource for breast reconstruction.
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day
Breast Reconstruction Facts and Patient Information.
It takes a big medical team behind one persons’ cancer and that in itself can be confusing at first. The surgeon that will remove the cancer tumors works hand in hand with the plastic surgeon if you had the option of having an immediate and or a delayed reconstruction. In my case, Dr. Urve Kuusk performed my bilateral mastectomy and Dr. Esta Bovill did my reconstruction – the both saved my life and I will always be eternally grateful for that.
Dr. Kuusk is amongst the best of breast surgeons out there; she know her stuff so well, she is the Medical Director of Providence Health Care Breast Centre at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital. She is realistic, logical and a sensible surgeon. She will bring you peace and will tell you exactly what needs to be done. She is up-to-date with all the new techniques and developments with that awful disease.
Dr. Esta Bovill is also amongst the best. She is an amazing plastic surgeon with a wonderful down-to-earth personally. She will go into details and will let you know your options as they are with no fluff. She performed an immaculate immediate breast reconstruction on me. Thank you!
And ther is this, I’m not sure if it is available here in Canada yet…