October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It is appropriate for me, as Plastic surgeon and Breast Reconstructive Surgeon to add my voice to this cause.
Various studies have established the development of breast cancer to have some links with menopause, HRT, obesity, family history, alcohol and smoking. What is evident is that it is one of the commonest types of cancer affecting women in this country. That is why many women’s magazines and media discuss about the Breast awareness and regular self-examination. Even younger women are diagnosed with this cancer – so, breast self -examination is recommended for all age groups of women.
Studies show mammogram screening has helped reduce the mortality rate as it picks up the problem at a very early stage. Surgical techniques have also changed over time – trying to maintain the woman’s body image as much as possible. Options of breast reconstruction are given to patients early on in the treatment pathway – both by Breast surgeons and Plastic surgeons with a special interest in breast reconstruction surgery.
Most of the patients have the desire to get back to normalcy after going through the treatment including chemotherapy / radiotherapy and many of them opt for Breast Reconstruction to bring back feminine body image.
There are many options to reconstruct a breast shape. Breast Care nurses, Breast Surgeons and Plastic / Reconstructive Surgeons work together to support the women who request a reconstruction. This month, while there is a focus to raise the awareness of this cancer, let us also remember that ‘something can be done’ even after the cancer treatment.