While the primary function of the female breast is to produce milk, breasts often play a part in self-image and self-confidence.
Losing a breast, because of breast cancer, can cause lasting negative psychological and emotional effects.
Breasts are important to women.
This is why with breast cancer treatment, options for reconstruction are also given, surgical or otherwise.
So what are the options?
Some women choose to not have any form of reconstruction, and that is okay. This doesn’t take away from their femininity or beauty. At the end of the day, you have to do what is right for you and what makes you feel comfortable and beautiful.
Non- Surgical Options:
This may be as simple as stuffing a bra or using breast prosthesis. These are removal breasts that are used with a special bra.
These are divided largely into two types: autologous, where your own tissue is used to reconstruct the breast, and the use of synthetic implants.
Most of us are aware of breast implants, where a silicone or saline implant is placed under the muscle (usually).
The other option is a flap. This is when tissue, along with its blood supply, is taken from one part of the body to another.
But what about the nipple?
If the surgeon is unable to spare the nipple-areola complex, one of the best ways to replace this is with a nipple tattoo! Many look very realistic and are only missing the textural component.
Okay, but are there complications?
Yes, all surgeries have possible complications. These are often divided based on the timeframe in which they happen.
Some complications associated with breast reconstruction surgery include:
These are just a few and each of the links below have a more comprehensive list.
This short post is just a snippet of what options are available to survivors of breast cancer. More can be learnt about the options from the National Cancer Institute and Breast Cancer Now and from your surgeon, if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Please check them out and watch the videos!
It is PINKtober, last year I spoke about how much this month is an example of how cancer awareness should be done. I encourage everyone to take part and soak up as much information about breast cancer!
Share with me something new you’ve learnt about breast cancer this month.
Samantha C. Johnson