Is Pink the New Fall Fashion Color? There are pink ribbons every where! We all know that October is breast cancer awareness month. It is that time of year when American women, as well as their supportive men, are giving time, talent and treasure to spread the word about early detection of breast cancer.
In addition to early detection and education, fund-raisers have discovered a new and special mission; find the money to help disadvantaged women get their mammograms. “Although October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NBCAM is dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer throughout the year.” See their special message at this site.
Here at the beginning of the Fall Season, Orlando Cosmetic Surgery encourages you to learn more about breast cancer, breast health, and the latest research developments, through such awareness campaigns. We think you would enjoy seeing the whimsical way some individuals have found to support the charity. Check out a very creative fund-raising “lemonade stand” webpage here.
It seems appropriate to bring you information about breast reconstruction at a time when we are all “thinking pink.” “New You,” a magazine dedicated to cosmetic surgery, explains, “our breasts are so much a part of who we are as women, how they look and feel is important to us.”
Thinking Pink: A Little Case Study With “You” As the Designated Patient
According to the Mayo Clinic, Mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Let us pretend that the diagnosis of life-threatening breast cancer has had its somber effect on you. You glance in the mirror and realize that, after your life-saving mastectomy or lumpectomy, your breast will never look the same.
If your cancer is in its early stages, you might have to decide between a mastectomy and the breast-conserving surgery lumpectomy. In the lumpectomy, only the tumor is removed from the breast. This can be a complex decision, to say the least. Lumpectomy isn’t given as a choice for everyone with breast cancer. Some patients prefer to undergo a mastectomy, for preventive and cosmetic reasons, even after being advised of the choice. (Special Note: If you know of someone who has been recently diagnosed, we recommend that you visit a library of breast cancer information, aptly named “Beyond The Shock,” by clicking here.)
Mayo Clinic states, “Newer mastectomy techniques can preserve breast skin and allow for a more natural breast appearance following the procedure. Surgery to restore shape to your breast — called breast reconstruction — may be done at the same time as your mastectomy or during a second operation at a later date.” For more information basic to the mastectomy, click here.
At Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, we realize that surgery has been mandated to save your life, but we think you should still feel justified in asking, “What about my breast?” When you have asked yourself this question, it is time to build your team. Before the surgery, do not neglect to talk to a plastic surgeon who will appraise you of your breast reconstruction options.
Likewise, from the Mayo Clinic comes this advice, “Consult a plastic surgeon who’s board certified and experienced in breast reconstruction following mastectomy. Ideally, your breast surgeon and the plastic surgeon will work together to develop the best surgical treatment and breast reconstruction strategy in your situation.”
Your Cosmetic Surgeon’s Double Role
At Orlando Cosmetic Surgery, we feel that our responsibility to our breast cancer patients is two-fold. We both educate you concerning your options for reconstruction, and consult with your breast surgeon concerning the actual operation. Dr. Michael Rosenberg, M.D. states, “This collaboration is important, because how that surgeon approaches your breast with the first cut influences your potential cosmetic outcome. So choose your cancer surgeon carefully, too.”
A leading breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgeon in New York, Michael Klutsa agrees, “To help the patient decide on optimal care for the breast cancer, a cosmetic surgeon should be consulted soon after seeing the oncologic breast surgeon.” He adds, “The aesthetic component of breast reconstruction has become increasingly important in optimal care for our patients, and the techniques, concepts and ideas of aesthetic breast surgery are appropriately in the domain of the cosmetic surgeon.”
Recovery and Reconstruction Requires A Team Approach
Sharon Y. Giese, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing and teaching in New York, sees a slightly rose-colored tint to the reconstruction situation. Her point of view is that “involving the cosmetic surgeon from the very beginning gives women hope at the end of the tunnel—that they can have a nice-looking (sometimes better-looking) breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy.” She adds, “I view the reconstructive breast surgery as the positive part of the breast cancer survivor’s experience.”
In our next blog, we will acquaint you with the details of some of the major surgical options available for reconstruction. Meanwhile, Orlando Cosmetic Surgery invites you to help us “paint” Orlando “pink” with good wishes: Bravo, to all breast cancer survivors, in Florida, America, and world-wide! Bravo also, to the researchers and fund-raisers working toward a cure, every day.