10 Things to Consider before Undergoing Breast Reconstruction Surgery

10 Things to Consider before Undergoing Breast Reconstruction Surgery

There is much written on the internet about this topic, and an overwhelming consensus of women commenting on it in forums wish they would have done their homework before agreeing to have breast reconstructive surgery. In fact, a 2016 study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center has called for the provision of better information about the pros and cons of the surgery to breast cancer patients who undergo a mastectomy. Whatever your reasons, don’t make the mistake of rushing into a decision. Instead, you can use this checklist of things to consider as a starting point. Research. As mentioned before, there is a wealth of information on the web, some better than others. Check out reputable sites like the Susan G. Komen site or Breastcancer.org. Remember, you are making a huge decision which will affect the rest of your life. Do your homework. Talk to your doctor – and maybe a few more. Discuss the possible options for your situation with your plastic surgeon and don’t settle for the one that he or she is most comfortable doing. You may have to go elsewhere to get the procedure that you ultimately want. At Breast Cancer Associates, we will be happy to review your options with you. It’s all about you. Breast reconstruction surgery is a personal decision, and should never be done to please a spouse, family member or friend. You are the one who will live with your choice for the rest of your life. Make time for it. The reconstruction process can take months, will involve a great...
How Radiation Therapy Affects Breast Reconstruction

How Radiation Therapy Affects Breast Reconstruction

Radiation therapy is one of the most powerful tools available today to treat breast cancer. Before, radiation therapy was mostly used on women who had undergone a lumpectomy – a procedure wherein there occurs only a partial removal of breast tissue. However, with advances in technique and technology relative to cancer treatment, radiation therapy has been shown to be equally of value to women who have had mastectomies, specifically to those who have had deterring cancer reoccurrence upon breast augmentation and the subsequent surgery. Women who received a mastectomy might benefit from the use of radiation therapy with breast reconstruction in these cases: • Large tumor sizes • Axillary lymph nodes with the potential for either cancer or quite close surgical resection margins. Timing The issue of timing is very important as it relates to breast reconstruction and radiation therapy. Due to the sensitivity of the treatment schedule, some of the issues that might arise include the timing of: • Reconstruction and chemotherapy • Reconstruction and radiation The timing of reconstruction must also be considered, as it can either occur during the mastectomy or after the procedure. Whether or not you are a suitable candidate for breast surgery during or after your mastectomy depends entirely on your personal history, which is why a specialized and knowledgeable reconstructive surgeon is key. Treatment The primary treatment option for surgery while receiving radiation therapy is the DIEP flap. The surgery involves using the patient’s own tissue while utilizing radiation as needed to mitigate any potential risks for the future outcome of the reconstruction. Finding a reputable surgeon in the Dallas, Texas area...

What is Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Triple negative metastatic breast cancer refers to two things: a particular type of breast cancer, and how far that breast cancer has advanced. To help you understand the term, Breast Reconstruction Associates needs to break it down and look at each portion by itself. Triple negative breast cancer Breast cancer may be discussed as a single disease, but it’s actually more of a loose collection of similar ailments. In so-called triple negative breast cancer, the cancer is at least partially of a type lacking hormone receptors or HER2/neu receptors. In other words, it’s negative for oestrogen receptors, negative for progesterone receptors, and negative for HER2/neu receptors. Between 14 and 20% of breast cancers test triple negative. This is important because of the role these receptors play in treatment. The targeted treatments used for other breast cancers won’t work on a triple negative breast cancer, leaving only standard treatments such as surgery, chemo, and radiation. This means that triple negative breast cancers are regarded as a more aggressive breast cancer, with a worse prognosis. Even more treatable forms of triple negative breast cancer are more likely to impact quality of life, due to the issues inherent to general cancer treatments. The ‘metastatic’ part of the term is used for all cancers, and refers to a cancer which has spread – metastasized – to other parts of the body. This is the same condition frequently referred to as Stage IV cancer or advanced cancer. A metastatic breast cancer is no longer limited to the tissues and nearby lymph nodes of the breasts. This makes treatment more difficult and greatly worsens prognosis;...