Women diagnosed with breast cancer are faced with a multitude of new challenges both mentally and physically. The life-changing experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer can highly affect a women’s perception of her self-image, body, and identity. The possibility of hair-loss, changes in her skin and body, and potentially losing both of her breasts are all extreme physical changes that can make it challenging to remain emotionally stable.
There are two options once breast cancer is detected. The first option, a lumpectomy, is the removal of the cancerous lump, followed by radiation therapy. The second option would be to remove the entire breast[s] completely, a procedure known as a mastectomy, a recent hot topic in the news as undergone by actress, Angelina Jolie. For patients who undergo one or both of these options, breast reconstruction surgery is a way to regain their initial physical appearance and improve their overall self-esteem and quality of life.
Breast reconstruction surgery is a great way for women to live without a constant reminder of their mastectomy or lumpectomy. This, in turn, leads to a healthier lifestyle, free from self-conscious constraints and allows women to feel good about their appearance after combating breast cancer. Women who undergo breast reconstruction surgery also are more likely to eat healthier and exercise more regularly.
For patients who have endured breast cancer surgery, a new breast is reconstructed after the breast or lump is removed. The best time for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy is directly after the surgery, as this leads to a more aesthetically pleasing result. This approach cuts down on the number of surgeries needed, avoids the need for additional downtime and immediately restores a woman’s body image.
Despite the positive correlation with well-being and breast reconstruction surgery, very few patients are aware of their options. It is important to know that both medical and aesthetic options, along with psychological support groups are available to help women stabilize after diagnoses. With the knowledge of options available post breast cancer surgery, women can begin to plan and build the strength to overcome cancer.