Most women elect to restore the profile and contour of their upper body after breast cancer surgery, whether all or just part of the breast is removed. And the options from which women can choose have never been more abundant.
In fact, a growing niche of women elect to have no reconstruction at all. It is the strength of identity that these trailblazing women represent that may be their greatest contribution to the dialogue about treatment, because every woman should be confident that her wishes for treatment will be honored, and no one must feel that their next step is chosen for them.
Rapid Advances Redefine the Basic Question
The issues that one must consider with a breast cancer diagnosis now rarely include the question of whether a woman’s breasts can be restored satisfactorily. That question is not very often “whether,” but rather “how.”
Steady and recently rapid advances in breast reconstruction techniques – and the widespread acceptance of them – has brought with it more options, more reassurance, and more hope for women who face breast cancer surgery.
What to Consider Before Selecting
A dozen things to consider in selecting the approach a woman takes to breast reconstruction surgery are listed by the American Cancer Society. They include questions such as the original size and the extent of surgery that was done, as well as whether other treatments are to proceed after the surgery. Deciding when to begin reconstruction is just as important as selecting the extent and method that best meets a woman’s objective.
Perhaps one of the wisest observations that have been published recently about breast reconstruction is this: No matter how much discussion, observation, and anticipation might have been prompted by the open dialogue on breast cancer today, a woman cannot really predict how she will react when and if she receives a breast cancer diagnosis. It is very important to honor the feelings that arise and think carefully about what makes sense to each woman, from the ground of her own beliefs, values, desires and objectives in life.
Planning the Life After Treatment
Breast reconstruction is part of planning the life a woman will enjoy after surgery. Those plans can be as unique and characteristic as the women who make them, and the experience and broad perspective of a board-certified plastic surgeon can be a vital ingredient in composing those plans. In fact, many women today have discussions like these in advance of any diagnosis, if family history or other risk factors make it a question to consider just for peace of mind.
The Blessings of Sisterhood
Just as beneficial to the woman who is dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis is the fact that discussion of it is widespread today. It is easy to forget that just a decade or two ago many women felt isolated as they answered questions from their doctor about the choices they faced for breast cancer treatment.
Today’s wide-open discourse about breast cancer means that a person can start with the recognition that women all around them have faced and overcome the same thing. Often they report that they had no idea how many of their friends and acquaintances had dealt with breast cancer until they themselves were diagnosed.
We would be very glad to have such a talk with you at any stage in your considerations. Just call us at 912.920.2090 or click here to schedule a complimentary and confidential consultation.