Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer as 2.3 million new cases will be globally diagnosed this year. Knowing how this disease profoundly affects everyone, family life, and quality of life, we join in the fight to end Breast Cancer.
Lexington Plastic Surgeons shares in this campaign every day as we help women (and men) with reconstructive breast surgery post cancer. Although we do not diagnose, treat, or solve breast cancer, we are part of the team to get you through breast cancer. Our surgeons and staff are available to help you with your return to breast health.
We know that awareness and early detection are key to surviving breast cancer, so we ask you to self-exam. It takes only minutes and can be done as you head into your shower.
Topless, look at the mirrored reflection of your breasts. With your hands on your waist, review the size, shape, and color. If you should see any swelling, dimpling, puckering, bulging, rash, soreness, redness, nipple change, or nipple discharge (unless nursing), you should bring this to the attention of your doctor.
Now raise your arms, stretching them over your head and review for the same elements.
The next step is to push on your breast, gently, in a controlled pattern so that you reach every inch of it. Start from the nipple and work your way out using a circular pattern; work like a lawnmower, going back and forth, row by row; or start from the outside in. Using your three fingers, pressing gently, to feel all the way to your ribcage, through the breast. Press in and under your armpit on both sides. Should you find a lump, hardness, or something that does not release to your pressure – please bring it to your doctor’s attention. This pressing is best done twice – standing up and lying down. Some find that doing one exam in the shower with some slippery water, makes it easier to know how to do this lying down. In both cases, put your arm above your head on the breast exam side, and use your alternate hand to press.
If you should find something unusual, please, do not panic. Call your healthcare professional and speak with him or her to learn next steps. Like women, every breast is different. Learning about your breasts will only make you smarter about all your healthcare needs.
If you have had breast cancer and are now ready to reconstruct your breasts, Lexington Plastics Surgeons can work with you to reform or recreate one or both breasts, nipples, and areola. We will work directly with you, your body type, and your aesthetic to give you the breasts you want.
There are terms you will hear, and they start to get confusing, so our trained professionals will learn from you what you need and make informed suggestions. At Lexington Plastic Surgeons, you will not need to become an authority on latissimus flap, free TRAM flap, Diep Flap, or non-abdominal free flaps to understand that your surgeon can reconstruct your breast using your own body.
The breast is made of fatty tissue, blood vessels, nerves, lymph nodes, connective tissue and the milk, duct system. Many of these parts are rich within the body and can be relocated to create a new breast. There are options for nipple and areola reconstruction along with sparing. All of this is so personal that you will only want to know everything about what is right for you.
Depending on your need, you may discuss Breast Augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty) to reconstruct the shape and size of the breast using a silicone or saline implant with tissue expansion. It is important to share the size, balance, and aesthetic of your breast if you are trying to return to your original look. This may also be a time to consider a different proportion to your figure, whether to enhance or reduce.
A Breast Reduction (reduction mammoplasty) removes excess fat, tissue, and skin, reducing them to a proportional, symmetrical size. This may include a restoration, reduction, or relocation of your nipple and areola. Reduction specifics will be based on aesthetic preference, reduction mass and doctor’s recommendations. In some cases, liposuction may be used.
We are completely aware that this is an important part of your healing process, so we treat you with individualized, attentive, well-informed care. Our collective experience offers suggestions suited to your individual needs and reflects your return from a mastectomy, lumpectomy, or other procedure to remove your cancer.
Breast Reconstruction is as individual as you.
Please call us to speak with a LPS professional who can guide you toward the solution best suited for your needs. Lexington Plastic Surgeons offers breast enhancement, augmentations, and reductions along with reconstruction, so our surgeons are trained and using all the current procedures, daily.
A conversation, directed toward your specific needs will remove the anxiety and confusion over all the available procedures and narrow it down to what is best for your body and your aesthetic.
Lexington Plastic Surgeons will partner with you in your complete breast cancer recovery. During October, we encourage you to take action. Breast cancer is a treatable disease, especially when detected early. Do your monthly self-exam breast check using the program noted above. Please – get an annual mammogram, based on your age and doctor’s advice. Every woman over 40 should have a mammogram once every two years.
For free or discounted mammograms – go to www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/screenings.htm and for mobile mammograms – ask Mapquest.
For information on who should get a mammogram and why, visit: answers.zocdoc.com
People of color and African women need to be vigilant in their own health story as cancer is not stabilized yet in this community and numbers continue to rise. This 7 minute read could save your life or the life of a friend – Black Women and Breast Cancer: Four Important Tips (nyp.org)
Awareness was the start of breast cancer survival in the 1990’s. Now, we would like to see breast cancer erased. Only by action, can we see this happen. Please take action today by learning more, joining a support group, participating in a clinical trial, helping a friend, making an appointment for screening or for your overall health/wellness.