Breast cancer refers to a malignant (cancerous) tumor that begins in the cells of a woman’s breast. Risk factors for breast cancer include being female, being over the age of 55, familial history of breast cancer, excess alcohol consumption, and obesity after menopause.
Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer decide to undergo some type of surgery. Surgical options include breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy.
With breast-conserving surgery, only the part of the breast that is cancerous is removed, whereas with a mastectomy, all of the breast tissue is removed.
While many women with early-stage breast cancer have the option of choosing between breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and a mastectomy, sometimes a mastectomy is clearly the best option. For example, BCS is not recommended for women:
- Who have received radiation therapy
- With inflammatory cancer
- With cancer that is large compared to the breast
- With tumors larger than 5 cm (2 inches)
Why choose breast reconstruction?
The emotional and psychological effects of breast cancer can take their toll on a woman, especially after having surgery to have one or both breasts removed. The good news is that with the latest advances in breast reconstruction surgery, women with breast cancer have more options than ever before.
Reasons for breast reconstruction:
- To restore the look of symmetrical breasts.
- To have a balanced chest when wearing a swimsuit or bra.
- To permanently regain having breasts.
- To improve self-confidence and intimacy.
- To avoid using an external prosthesis, which fits inside a bra.
- To be happier about their body.
While breast reconstruction can leave scars, the latest techniques minimize scarring. Studies show that reconstruction improves body image and self-esteem as compared to no breast reconstruction.
There may be more than one option available to women with breast cancer. We recommend talking to your oncologist and our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Yuly Gorodisky to assess the risks and benefits of reconstruction before planning your surgery.
If you are considering your surgical options, we believe that it is best to give yourself plenty of time so you can make an informed decision about breast reconstruction surgery. To learn more, contact us to schedule a consultation with our Oxnard plastic surgeon!