Many breast cancer patients are able to avoid mastectomy, as long as a qualified cosmetic surgeon is contacted early, according to new research from Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. The research was published in The Breast Journal.
Additionally, the research went on to suggest that women with breast implants exercise diligence when it comes to breast self-exams, since self-exams are the most effective early detection method available, more so than even routine mammography screening.
This is because the implants can sometimes interfere with the screening machine, especially in the early stages when the potential tumor is extremely small. However, the study has some good news for women both with and without implants: the likelihood of losing a breast from breast cancer is diminishing.
Breast reconstruction techniques – such as breast reshaping and breast implants – are helping women retain their appearance, even if significant amounts of breast tissue have to be removed. The sooner the patient contacts a cosmetic surgeon after breast cancer diagnosis, the greater the likelihood of successful breast reconstruction.
There is strong anecdotal evidence to support the idea that many women, upon diagnosis, concentrate strongly on treatment but overlook long-term cosmetic appearance. This is why cancer specialists often work with patients to find a qualified cosmetic surgeon. Together, the specialist and the cosmetic surgeon can work to remove the cancer and retain, or in some cases recreate, the breast.
Breast reconstruction techniques often involve tissue taken from elsewhere on the body, such as the thighs, which is then molded into a new breast. Often, breast implants are also used, to add shape and form.
With breast cancer, typically only one breast will be affected, and it will need to be matched to the other. By contacting a cosmetic surgeon early, he or she will be able to photograph and even model an existing breast.
Following the removal of the cancer, the photos and models are used to recreate the breast almost exactly. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that over 300,000 women a year get breast implants.
The procedure is widely considered to be safe, easy and relatively routine. However, for a woman with breast cancer, who has little choice in whether to get implants or not, the procedure can be intimidating. One woman who had breast cancer said, “Getting breast implants was just something I’d never thought of. But suddenly [after diagnosis] I needed them.
It left me with little time to prepare, and the whole thing was very shocking.” The answer, according to experts, is specialization. Women with breast cancer are advised to find a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction and augmentation.
Just like other doctors, cosmetic surgeons specialize in one area over others. Because successful surgery is highly dependant upon the skill of the surgeon, it is recommended that women seek out a doctor with lots of experience in breast-cancer-based breast restoration.
According to BreastCancer.org, in 2019, “an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”
The most effective method of treatment is early diagnosis, and early diagnosis is the result of self-diagnosis. The study released by the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital did not address any correlation between breast implants and breast cancer; although numerous other studies in past years have found that no significant linkage between the two exists.