October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Breast Cancer Awareness Month brings early detection of breast cancer to the forefront every year in October.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
What is Breast Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, “Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. The tumor is malignant (cancerous) if the cells can grow into (invade) surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too.”
Breast Cancer Facts
• Mammography will detect 80-90% of breast cancers in women without symptoms. (Source: American Cancer Society)
• 1 in 8 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. (Source: American Cancer Society)
• Surgery to treat breast cancer often results in a significant alteration to a women’s breast(s) and can have a severe impact on quality of life.*
• There are more than 2.8 billion cancer survivors in the United States. (Source: American Cancer Society)
The BRCA1 Gene
In 2013 Angelina Jolie made headlines for her preventative double mastectomy & immediate breast reconstruction following a positive test result for a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. This mutation greatly increases the risk of breast cancer. Jolie opted for a double mastectomy in order to prevent herself from getting breast cancer any time in the future.
Angelina Jolie brought great attention to BRCA1 gene testing. This test is widely available, but mainly only recommended to those with an individual or family history of breast cancer, or one that suggests the possible presence of a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. If interested, please read more about BRCA1 and BRCA2: Cancer Risk and Genetic Testing.
Practicing Early Detection is Important
To detect breast cancer early, it is very important to perform breast self-exams at least once a month, visit OBGYN twice a year or as recommended, receive a mammogram as recommended, and spread the word about breast cancer awareness.
Although Danyo Plastic Surgery does not specialize in breast cancer detection, we urge you to practice these early detection techniques and spread awareness.
For those of you faced with a breast cancer diagnosis, please contact us to schedule a breast reconstruction consultation with Dr. Joe Danyo or Dr. Jillian Banbury to learn more about your options for when you are ready.
Breast reconstruction is the practice of using several plastic surgery techniques to restore a breast’s shape, appearance, and size following a lumpectomy, mastectomy, or double mastectomy.
Breast reconstruction can begin at the same time as a mastectomy, or after you have healed from a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or recover from other cancer treatments.
“Breast reconstruction is a physically and emotionally rewarding procedure for a woman who has lost a breast due to cancer or other condition. The creation of a new breast can dramatically improve your self-image, self-confidence, and quality of life.” – Quoted from http://www.breastreconusa.org/
Breast Reconstruction Facts
• Breast reconstruction is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy.
• Only about five percent of women choose to undergo immediate – at the time of their mastectomy – breast reconstruction.
• Reconstruction should be a topic that underscores a woman’s entire journey through cancer recovery, signifying a return to self and a sense of
• Research has found that breast reconstruction is attributed to the patient‘s improved self-esteem and sense of well being.
• Breast reconstruction is not a one-size-fits-all procedure. The type of reconstruction you undergo will be decided by the patient and surgeon, depending on particular needs, anatomy and previous treatments.
• Immediate reconstruction has been shown to be a safe option for many women. Women interested in beginning reconstruction at the time of mastectomy must ask their breast surgeon to make a referral to see a plastic surgeon.
• There are three methods of reconstruction: a) reconstruction using implants b) reconstruction using the patient’s tissue only (‘autologous’ reconstruction) c) reconstruction using the patient’s tissue combined with an implant
• If only one breast is affected, it alone may be reconstructed. In addition, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation may be recommended for the opposite breast to improve symmetry of the size and position of both breasts.
• Although breast reconstruction can rebuild your breast, the results are highly variable.*
• A reconstructed breast will not have the same sensation and feel as the breast it replaces.
• Visible incision lines will always be present on the breast, whether from reconstruction or mastectomy.
• Under the Federal Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998, health insurance plans that offer mastectomy coverage must also provide coverage for reconstructive surgery after mastectomy. This coverage includes reconstruction of the breast removed by mastectomy, reconstruction of the other breast to produce a symmetrical appearance, breast prostheses, and treatment of physical complications at all stages of the mastectomy.
October 19th is Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day
Many women who have undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy are not aware of their reconstruction options available to them. Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day helps bring attention to breast reconstruction facts and resources.
Breast Reconstruction Awareness Facts
• The first Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day USA was held in 2012 under the leadership of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
• There are now over 30 countries participating
• It aims to educate breast cancer patients about their breast reconstruction options in a safe and timely manner.
• Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day USA advocates for the rights of patients to be made aware of their options at the time of diagnosis and to be provided access to a plastic surgeon to further discuss those options.
• The Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day logo: Since reconstruction surgery comes after a woman has been diagnosed and successfully treated for breast cancer, the ribbon symbolizes closing the loop on breast cancer.
• This day will recognize the many faces of breast cancer and the unique journey they each endure.
• Many women, understandably, are distraught by the news they have breast cancer and may feel alone. This special day will ensure these women are not alone!
• A plastic surgeon’s role is to ensure that the patient knows all of her reconstructive options before her cancer is treated and removed, and to give the patient the best options for a fulfilling life beyond breast cancer.
• The initial care provider ought to refer every patient to a plastic surgeon at the time of diagnosis.
• The bravery of each woman diagnosed with breast cancer will be strongly acknowledged. Although all women have different journey’s, they will never feel alone while learning their breast reconstruction options.
Donate to Breast Cancer Reconstruction Awareness
If you can afford to, please consider donating to the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Fund of The Plastic Surgery Foundation. Your donation will help tremendously in closing the loop on breast cancer.
Visit breastreconusa.org/donate/ to donate.
Breast Reconstruction at Danyo Plastic Surgery
Here at Danyo Plastic Surgery in Greenville, DE, we offer complimentary breast reconstruction consultations with Dr. Danyo and Dr. Banbury.
During your consultation, we may talk to you about your diagnosis, treatment plan, and discuss all the reconstructive options available to you.
If Breast Recontrsruction surgery is right for you, it is then scheduled to be performed at the Christiana Hospital by Dr. Danyo or Dr. Banbury with utmost care.
* Disclaimer: Individual results may vary and specific results are not guaranteed.