Breast Cancer Detection Techniques

Breast Cancer Detection Techniques

People around the world have become very conscious of the fact that cancer has swept the world.  They want to make sure that they aren’t at risk.  One of the most common questions that is asked, is how is breast cancer detected?  Let’s take a look at some of the modern breast cancer detection techniques that are out there. Physical Breast Examination The first test that is usually given to determine if breast cancer is present is a physical breast examination.  The breast is felt with a gloved hand to determine if any lumps are present.  A doctor will perform this at every physical examination.  Women are encouraged to perform their own physical breast examinations at home too.  If anything out of the normal is detected, further tests will be conducted. Mammograms A mammogram is an x-ray photograph that is taken of a woman’s breast or breasts.  These x-ray images are taken when it isn’t suspected that a woman has cancer.  They are taken regularly in order to attempt to detect cancer in its earliest stages.  If a mammogram catches cancer early, the chances of being able to successfully treat it go up significantly. Ultrasound An ultrasound is a test that is similar to an x-ray, it allows a doctor to image inside a woman’s breast.  If an abnormality is discovered further tests will be used to detect cancer.  Also like a mammogram, ultrasounds can be utilized to catch cancer early.  An ultrasound is also used to detect and image a baby in a mother’s womb. Blood Cell Count A blood test can be used to determine whether or...
What Does DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Involve?

What Does DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction Involve?

DIEP flap is a type of breast reconstruction procedure that involves blood vessels that are called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP). In this procedure, the DIEP, together with all connected skin and fat, are removed from the lower abdomen, and transferred to the chest using microsurgery, in order to reconstruct a breast after mastectomy. A DIEP flap reconstruction surgery is a major, and not to mention, complex surgery.After the operation, one is likely to be advised to stay in the hospital for about 5 more days for careful monitoring. It’s important to note that in a DIEP flap breast reconstruction, no muscle will be used to rebuild the breast. Because of this, the procedure is likely to have a higher rate of recovery among women. Moreover, it is also likely to have a lower occurrence of abdominal muscle weakness. Because skin, fat, and blood vessels will be removed from the abdomen to be transferred to the chest, it is expected that the DIEP flap procedure will leave one’s abdomen flatter and tighter. It is also expected to leave a horizontal scar across one’s abdomen, as well as on the reconstructed breast, as these two are areas of incision. When it comes to the recovery time, it usually takes about 6-8 weeks for the abdomen to completely heal. During this healing period, doctors typically recommend the use of a post-surgical compression girdle, which can promote healing both to the abdominal skin and tissues. Once healed, no restrictions on physical activity are set. In fact, the DIEP flap procedure is known to promote a stronger abdominal wall, which is considered be...
What Is Diep Flap?

What Is Diep Flap?

Diep flap is a type of breast reconstruction that is offered to breast cancer survivors and breast cancer patients who have had to undergo a mastectomy or a double mastectomy.  The process is relatively new and has replaced a procedure called TRAM flap.  Diep Flap stands for Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator.  Here are the details about Diep flap in Austin and around the world. Diep flap is a process during which, skin is taken from the abdomen area and attached to the breast area where a mastectomy has been performed.  The lower abdomen is chosen because there is often excess skin in that area that is easy for surgeons to use without posing any great harm to the patient.  For double mastectomy patients, the surgeons must have enough skin to work with in order to use Diep flap to reconstruct both breasts. The process of Diep flap is quite realistic.  Women who undergo this procedure often end up with a very realistic breast reconstruction.  Some women may require a second procedure after the Diep flap is complete to help shape the reconstructed breast and to give it a touch up on the sizing.  This is because surgery can often time cause swelling and other issues that will make the initial process slightly off. Diep flap in Dallas and the rest of the world is very important because it helps women gain back something that they lost during the battle for cancer.  This small gain can help give them the spirit to continue the fight and become one of the growing number of cancer survivors.  It can also help...
When Should You See A Breast Reconstruction Surgeon?

When Should You See A Breast Reconstruction Surgeon?

When it comes to breast reconstruction after mastectomy, timing is very important. While many people advocate and encourage immediate reconstruction – reconstruction at the same time as the mastectomy surgery – it is not always feasible and advisable. One major determinant of the timing of reconstructive breast surgery is the stage of the breast cancer. In stage I or stage II breast cancer, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other targeted therapies may not be necessary after the mastectomy. In such cases, it is advisable that immediate reconstruction be performed. However, in stage III or stage IV breast cancer, delaying the reconstruction is often advised because radiation therapy and chemotherapy are usually needed. Reconstructive breast surgery usually requires extra healing time; therefore, radiation therapy or chemotherapy will be unduly delayed. Another problem that arises if immediate reconstruction is performed in the presence of stage III or stage IV breast cancer is that radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other targeted therapies tend to cause a reconstructed breast to lose volume, change in color and texture, and inevitably, cause undesirable changes to its overall appearance. This means that having such therapies after reconstruction will defeat the very purpose of the reconstruction. Hence, surgeons advise their patients to wait until radiation and chemotherapy are finished before having their breast reconstruction. Your overall health is another factor that largely determines the timing of the your breast reconstruction. In the presence of diabetes, a circulatory disorder, a bleeding problem, or other comorbidities, you will likely be first advised to recover completely from your mastectomy before having the reconstruction. Therefore, the timing of your reconstructive breast surgery is...
Options on Breast Reconstruction

Options on Breast Reconstruction

Mastectomy, or the removal of the breast, is usually done on women who have either been diagnosed with breast cancer, or are noted to have high risk of developing it in the future. According a recent study that looked into the psychological problems that ensue following a mastectomy secondary to breast cancer, the breast is part of what determines the “body image” of a female. The removal of the breast therefore, leads to lower confidence and self-worth, and a poorer self-esteem among women. This means that as much as a mastectomy affects a woman physically, it also affects her emotionally and psychologically. One of the ways to address this emotional and psychological affectation is by making use of a breast prosthesis, or by undergoing breast reconstruction. As the name implies, a breast prosthesis is an artificial body part that is put on and taken off to replace the breast that has been removed. Breast reconstruction on the other hand, is a surgery, performed by a plastic surgeon, that rebuilds the breast that has been removed in order to match the shape, size and look of the remaining breast. More and more women are preferring breast reconstruction after mastectomy over the use of breast prostheses due to convenience and aesthetic purposes. With breast reconstruction, you don’t have to put on and off an artificial body part. Plus, with breast reconstruction, the breast shape is regained permanently, and the chest is made to look balanced, especially when wearing a bra or a swimsuit. Breast reconstruction also offers several options in terms of reconstruction techniques. Mainly, there are two techniques. The first...

Guide to Choosing the Best Hospital or Plastic Reconstructive Surgeon for the DIEP Flap Surgery

  What is a DIEP flap? DIEP stands for deep inferior epigastric perforator artery. This artery is an artery that runs through the abdomen. This artery is particular significant because in a DIEP flap, this blood vessel, together with the flap, fat, and skin of the abdomen, is moved up to the chest to rebuild the breast.   This means that the DIEP flap is a breast reconstruction surgery technique wherein skin and tissue (excluding the muscle) is taken from the abdomen to recreate the breast that has been removed after a mastectomy.   What are the considerations that I need to make in choosing a hospital or a reconstructive surgeon? Do take note that not all hospitals offer the DIEP procedure. In fact, this kind of procedure is relatively new in the world of plastic surgery, which is one of the reasons why only selected hospitals and selected doctors are currently offering it.   Another reason why not all hospitals offer the DIEP procedure is that that it is a highly specialized type of surgery. This procedure requires a doctor with a special surgical training, as well as an expertise in microsurgery in order to perform it. This is because the blood vessels of the flap from the abdomen need to be carefully attached to the blood vessels in the chest – and this is a rather complicated procedure, and it can only be performed through microsurgery.   And so, primary considerations in choosing a hospital or a set of doctors include two critical factors: first, the hospital or the set of doctors need to have access to...