Despite the benefits of immediate post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, only a small minority of women, regardless of age, choose this option, a new study indicates. Research has shown that compared with a delayed procedure, immediate post-mastectomy reconstruction improves psychological well-being and quality of life. The new study, headed by Dawn Hershman, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center, indicates that only about one-third of women opt for the procedure, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.
Immediate breast reconstruction does lead to better results in patients with early stage breast cancer. That is a pretty much well known fact. This statistic of less than a third of women seeking this type of reconstruction in this light seems kinda sad, but keep reading: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery*
When Wanda Skyes, 47, had a bilateral breast reduction in February, the pathology returned with DCIS present in the left breast specimen. Recently the comedian appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and during the interview revealed her breast cancer diagnosis and her decision to have a double mastectomy.
Sykes continued, “It wasn’t until after the reduction that in the lab work, the pathology, that they found that I had DCIS [ductal carcinoma in situ] in my left breast. I was very, very lucky because DCIS is basically stage-zero cancer. So I was very lucky.”
But, she added, “Cancer is still cancer. I had the choice of, ‘You can go back every three months and get it checked. Have a mammogram, MRI every three months just to see what it’s doing.’ But, I’m not good at keeping on top of stuff. I’m sure I’m overdue for an oil change and a teeth cleaning already.”
Because she has a history of breast cancer on her mother’s side of the family, Sykes explained she opted to have a bilateral mastectomy.
“I had both breasts removed, because now I have zero chance of having breast cancer,” she said. “It sounds scary up front, but what do you want? Do you want to wait and not be as fortunate when it comes back and it’s too late?”
The American Cancer Society Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*
A paper presented at the 2011 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) breast cancer symposium this week has drawn all kinds of news coverage – and much of it is off the mark – even in the eyes of one of the American Cancer Society’s top docs.
The paper concluded:
“Results of this study validate the importance of annual screening mammography in women older than 50 years, and women aged 40 to 49 years recently omitted from screening guidelines. There was an increased prevalence of palpation (breast self exams) for the method of detection in women less than 50 years of age. If screening mammography is omitted in this group, cancers when detected may be of a more advanced stage and result in more mastectomies. This study also supports the use of palpation as a method of detection despite recent recommendations against teaching self breast exams by the USPSTF (US Preventive Services Task Force).”
WebMD’s lead sentence was: Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
Though mastectomies are often a necessary and even welcome intervention to save the lives of women suffering from breast cancer, they also may contribute to the overall physical and emotional trauma facing the patients. In order to alleviate some of these problems, surgeons have developed breast reconstruction procedures that usually entail restoring the mound by implanting a silicone sac filled with salt solution (saline) or gel under the skin and pectoral muscles. The traditional process to prepare for implantation of the sac may be long and sometimes painful because it involves weekly bolus saline injections (sometimes up to 22 weeks) in order to create a pocket of sufficient size.
A potential alternative solution is being developed by AirXpanders, a med tech start-up in Palo Alto that focuses on tissue expansion for breast reconstruction following cancer. Their system, known as AeroForm, just recently Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*
Attendees of the breast cancer awareness symposium “Bridging the Gap: Promoting Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening and Wellness” were given the chance to submit questions on breast cancer in the minority community. This is the first part of these questions answered by Dr. Preya Ananthakrishnan, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery and a host of the event.
Q: I am a 51 year old Black women, whose mother died 13 years ago from breast cancer & her sister was diagnosed last year. I had a mammography 2 weeks ago and got the dreaded come back letter. Should I get genetic counseling?
Dr. Ananthakrishnan: I would suggest that your sister with the breast cancer get tested first, and if her test result is positive then you should get tested. Furthermore, it is likely that even though you got a “call back” letter after your mammogram, it is very possible that you don’t actually have a breast cancer. I would advise you to go in as soon as possible to work up whatever abnormality was seen. If you do in fact have a breast cancer, then you should certainly undergo genetic testing yourself.
Q: What is considered “early detection” of breast cancer?
Dr. Ananthakrishnan: Early detection is finding a breast cancer before symptoms actually occur. This could be by finding it on a mammogram before actually feeling a lump in the breast, or by finding a small lump before it becomes a big lump. Early detection can sometimes allow for less aggressive treatments and improved outcomes.
Q: Is radical mastectomy surgery still performed? I hear little about it now. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Columbia University Department of Surgery Blog*