Diane G. Bowen MD
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I felt it appropriate to provide Elegant Island Living readers with information on Breast Cancer Care of the 21st Century.
For most patients breast cancer is no longer a death sentence, but rather a serious illness to be managed with the expectation of not only long term survival, but also a less disfiguring survival.
A 1998 federal law requires insurance to cover reconstructive surgery for both breasts so that a cancer survivor can be both a well woman and a whole woman. Meaning even the unaffected side can be “re-shaped” to match the side that has the cancer removed.
Some circumstances require women to have a complete mastectomy. However, the breast conservation approach of a lumpectomy and radiation has become popular. With the lumpectomy and radiation, shrinkage of the breast can occur--even surface sinking similar to "the sunken cupcake" look. To avoid this type of result, breast cancer patients can ask for a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon to discuss ways to optimally conserve the breast based on reconstructive surgery.
Advances in the treatment of breast cancer allow us to preserve most of the breast skin and sometimes even the nipple. This greatly improves results.
A woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer must learn all her options prior to starting treatment. Request to have a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon early in the treatment process. It is our hope at Golden Isles Center for Plastic Surgery that all breast cancer survivors can pass a mirror and not only feel well, but feel whole, as a woman should.
For more information contact us at 912.632.1993 or drdianebowen.com.