DEBUNKING 4 MYTHS RELATED TO BREAST CANCER SURGERY AND RECONSTRUCTION

Breast cancer surgery

Breast cancer is a result of uncontrolled cell growth in the mammary glands. It is commonly seen in females, however, there is a possibility for the occurrence of breast cancer in male too. Breast cancer treatment is seeing better outcomes thanks to the awareness being spread along with the advancement in technology. The survival rate of breast cancer is on the rise largely because of early detection, a better understanding of the disease and a more personalized approach in treating patients.

Treatment for breast cancer sometimes requires one or both breasts being partially or totally removed. This procedure is known as a mastectomy. After a mastectomy, breast reconstruction can be done to minimize the procedure’s psychological impact. The aim of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy is to reform or reshape one or both breasts. Reconstruction surgery can either be done at the time of mastectomy or lumpectomy or after the breast cancer treatment is completed. It is observed, that only about 40 percent of the women who have undergone mastectomy choose to undergo breast construction surgery. This is because of the misconceptions associated with breast reconstruction.

Myth #1 – Breast reconstruction causes an obstruction in detecting breast cancer if it re-occurs

breast cancer myths

Women tend to think that the implant or breast flap used in the reconstruction surgery will conceal smaller tumours or cancer under it and prevent it from being detected in a mammogram. However, the fact remains that this is not true. If cancer returns, it usually occurs in the wall of the skin or chest. A physical examination or radiological tests can detect this if necessary. In fact, it is found that recovery does not alter the treatments available for chronic patients. In addition, these small areas of persistent cancer growth are simply removed and the reconstruction remains in place.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that breast reconstruction is a personalized approach and depends on the requirement of that particular patient.

Myth #2 – Breast reconstruction surgery postpones or interferes with cancer preventive treatments like radiation and chemotherapy

breast cancer surgery myths

In general, women tend to be apprehensive while undergoing breast cancer treatment and are fearful that further delay in treating the disease could have adverse consequences. They have a fear that the possibility of cancer spreading to surrounding tissues will increase by delaying treatment.

The truth of the matter is reconstruction results very rarely in chemotherapy or radiation delays. Furthermore, implant or tissue reconstruction does not interfere with chemotherapy or radiation treatments. A study has also shown that those undergoing reconstructions have no increased risk of cancer returning or spreading to other body locations.

Myth #3 – Women who are unhappy with their initial reconstruction have no options to improve it.

Many women who have reconstruction may not be entirely satisfied with the outcome of the procedure. This can cause anxiety and depression. They may think there is no way to tackle these problems and not bring them up with their surgeon.

However, this should not be the case. The patient is urged to ask question and doubts honestly so that the surgeon can propose the best-suited treatment. Revision surgery of the breast reconstruction can be opted for if the patient is dissatisfied with the outcome.

For example, an implant-based breast reconstruction sometimes leaves a hole in the upper part of the breast that is hard to hide with clothing. Reconstructive surgeons may repair this by grafting or inserting fat from other parts of the body into the hollow area. During the initial operation, this cannot be done as the temporary reconstruction must heal in order to form a pocket that can receive the fat.

Sometimes, for aesthetic purposes, women may want surgery on the unaffected breast. These procedures are usually minor and are usually performed in an ambulatory setting. Research has also shown that patients who have undergone revision surgery are satisfied with the end result.

Myth #4 – Breast reconstruction is not a priority; women tend to focus more on breast cancer treatment

breast cancer treatment

Woman are more focused to fight breast cancer effectively and will use the best treatment protocol to ensure a successful outcome. Procedures like mastectomy and lumpectomy guarantee complete removal of cancer along with complete or partial removal of a breast. Breast reconstruction surgery can help the patient both physically and psychologically. There are a number of reconstruction procedures today, but breast cancer patients may not be aware of all their options. Patients who understand the risks and benefits are more likely to opt for reconstruction surgery. It may not be right for everyone, but everyone deserves to know what is available to make a decision that is fully informed.

Dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis can be exhausting. It is, therefore, crucial to be well-informed. To know more about breast cancer and breast cancer treatment in India, you can visit our website by clicking here https://www.medicoexperts.com/breast-cancer

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