October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 25, 2016


october-breast-cancer-awareness-month-2016

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness MonthWhile the focus is on breast cancer awareness this month, it is a good time to give women the basic facts on breast cancer treatment and options afterward. When treatment involves removal of a portion or all of a breast, reconstruction procedures can help women regain their feminine contour and reclaim their life after breast cancer. Dr. Andrews at PCI Plastic Surgery has the great insight into the many choices women have in breast reconstruction today.

Breast Cancer Statistics

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the United States. One in eight women develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime (source: breastcancer.org). In addition, about one in 1,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. It is estimated that more than 300,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2016 alone, and approximately 2,600 breast cancer cases in men.

While deaths associated with breast cancer have been decreasing since 1989, about 40,500 women are expected to die from the disease in 2016. Breast cancer death rates are higher for women in the U.S. than any other type of cancer, except for lung cancer. The gradual decrease in death rates can be attributed to more early detection of the disease and more effective treatment options.

While genetics can play a role in breast cancer, as many as 85 percent of all breast cancer cases diagnosed are in women with no family history of the disease. Other risk factors for breast cancer include:

  • Age – more likely to occur in women over the age of 55
  • Radiation exposure to the chest prior to age 30
  • No pregnancies or pregnancy after the age of 30
  • Starting menstrual cycles before the age of 12
  • Sedentary lifestyle, weight gain
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Smoking or consistent alcohol consumption

None of these risk factors mean a woman will definitely develop breast cancer, but they can make her likelihood of a cancer diagnosis higher than women who do not have any of these risk factors.

Mastectomy Trends?

Mastectomy, a surgical procedure to remove a breast, is one treatment option for women diagnosed with breast cancer. In 2015, 53 percent of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer underwent a mastectomy. About 25 percent opted for a single mastectomy, while 28 percent chose a double or bilateral mastectomy. In some cases, women opted to remove the healthy breast as well as the breast with cancer in order to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer in the opposite breast or to ensure breast symmetry. This is known as prophylactic mastectomy.

Options in Mastectomies

When mastectomy is the recommended treatment, there are many options to consider:

Simple Mastectomy

A surgical procedure that removes the entire breast, including the skin, nipple and areola.

Modified Radical Mastectomy

This procedure involves removal of the entire breast, as well as the axillary lymph nodes. The decision depends on whether the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Radical Mastectomy

This procedure, which is rarely performed these days, includes removal of the entire breast, the axillary lymph nodes and the chest (pectoralis) muscle.

Skin-Sparing Mastectomy

While the nipple and areola are removed with this procedure, as much of the breast skin as is possible is preserved. This technique is often recommended when breast reconstruction will be performed at the same time as the mastectomy.

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

In addition to sparing as much skin as possible, this procedure will also preserve the nipple and areola for the purpose of a more natural breast reconstruction. In this case, the tissue under the nipple will need to be carefully removed and biopsied to ensure no cancer cells will be left in the remaining skin.

If you need a mastectomy and are considering breast reconstruction, it is a good idea to involve a plastic surgeon as early in the process as possible. While the ultimate goal is always to completely remove the cancer, the plastic surgeon can work with your cancer surgeon to ensure the best possible results from both your mastectomy and your reconstruction procedure.

Benefits of Reconstruction

Women who decide to undergo reconstruction after a mastectomy may see numerous benefits from this decision:

  • Restoration of a natural bodily form
  • The ability to wear certain types of clothing and bathing suits comfortably
  • May increase a woman’s self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Can help a woman emotionally manage the difficult process of fighting breast cancer

Despite the many benefits, breast reconstruction is not right for every woman. It is important to talk to your oncologist as well as a plastic surgeon to determine whether breast reconstruction is the right choice for you.

Options in Reconstruction

If you do decide to move forward with breast reconstruction, you will face many more choices throughout the reconstruction process. Some of those decisions will include:

Timing of the Reconstruction

Reconstruction can be done at the same time as the mastectomy (known as immediate reconstruction) or weeks to months after the mastectomy (known as delayed reconstruction). Your decision will be based on your personal preference, your age and medical history, the preference of your surgeons and whether additional cancer treatments like radiation or chemotherapy will be required after the mastectomy.

Technique Used for the Reconstruction

There are two basic techniques that are employed for breast reconstruction. One is the use of a breast implant to replace the breast tissue removed with the mastectomy. The second is to use your own tissue, taken from a donor site like the abdomen, the back, the buttock or the thigh. In some cases, a combination of implants and your own tissue may be used to produce the best result.

Breast cancer is a difficult diagnosis for women and the beginning of an often long process to manage the disease. One of the steps in that process may be breast reconstruction. If you are considering breast reconstruction, please call PCI Plastic Surgery at 855-338-0261 to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Andrews today.

June 26th, 2013

Dr. Andrews is an artist. His academic credentials are second to none. You can see that sensibility in every aspect of his practice, and his life. His outcomes are exceptional, and there isn’t a surgeon anywhere that I trust more.*
2015-02-10T19:25:22+00:00
Dr. Andrews is an artist. His academic credentials are second to none. You can see that sensibility in every aspect of his practice, and his life. His outcomes are exceptional, and there isn’t a surgeon anywhere that I trust more.*

May 27th, 2013

I am beyond happy with my results. I had extra skin hanging from my abdomen after gaining weight from pregnancies. Dr. Andrews was compassionate and understanding about how this affected me and my self-esteem.*
2015-02-10T19:25:46+00:00
I am beyond happy with my results. I had extra skin hanging from my abdomen after gaining weight from pregnancies. Dr. Andrews was compassionate and understanding about how this affected me and my self-esteem.*

May 27th, 2013

I can now wear bikinis! I continue to work out and can finally see the results of my hard work. Thank you Dr. Andrews – a California gem in the midwest!*
2015-02-10T19:26:11+00:00
I can now wear bikinis! I continue to work out and can finally see the results of my hard work. Thank you Dr. Andrews – a California gem in the midwest!*

June 1st, 2013

Dr. Andrews is one of the best plastic surgeons I’ve worked with! His patients are very pleased with their results. I highly recommend him!*
2015-02-10T19:26:35+00:00
Dr. Andrews is one of the best plastic surgeons I’ve worked with! His patients are very pleased with their results. I highly recommend him!*

Jan 24th, 2013

Dr Andrews was wonderful!! Great Guy… awesome job on my reconstruction!!*
2015-02-10T19:26:55+00:00
Dr Andrews was wonderful!! Great Guy… awesome job on my reconstruction!!*

Nov 2nd, 2012

I had suffered debilitating Hidradenitis. He gave me the ability to have a normal life again. My scars look amazing and he was able to close with the most beautiful lines! He was such a caring doctor who is so gifted. I hope to follow his practice wherever he may go!*
2015-02-10T19:27:28+00:00
I had suffered debilitating Hidradenitis. He gave me the ability to have a normal life again. My scars look amazing and he was able to close with the most beautiful lines! He was such a caring doctor who is so
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Oct 29th, 2012

Dr. Andrews was the absolute best doctor for me - very informative, sensitive, and caring with just the right amount of humor during the appointments.*
2015-02-10T19:27:54+00:00
Dr. Andrews was the absolute best doctor for me – very informative, sensitive, and caring with just the right amount of humor during the appointments.*

Extraordinary doctor

Before saying that you are an extraordinary doctor, I want to tell you that you are an extraordinary human being. Thanks for showing me so much care and concern.*
2015-03-30T12:00:04+00:00
Before saying that you are an extraordinary doctor, I want to tell you that you are an extraordinary human being. Thanks for showing me so much care and concern.*

You Rock!!

I wanted to write you a thank you letter because I would never be able to find the words to say how much I appreciate everything you did for me. Thanks to you I can feel normal and not always worry if people will find out about my problem. I can’t even begin to say thank you enough or to show my gratitude. You’re an amazing person, wonderful doctor, and my hero. All in all, you ROCK!!!*
2015-03-30T12:00:42+00:00
I wanted to write you a thank you letter because I would never be able to find the words to say how much I appreciate everything you did for me. Thanks to you I can feel normal and not always
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You all are the best!

Thank you so much for ALL of your help in my recovery thru “sometimes emotional” journey with my cancer. You all were always professional and took the time with my long list of questions. I can n0t thank you enough! Easter is my favorite time of the year and I pray God will continue to strengthen your gift and skills in healing because you all are the best!*
2015-03-30T12:02:02+00:00
Thank you so much for ALL of your help in my recovery thru “sometimes emotional” journey with my cancer. You all were always professional and took the time with my long list of questions. I can n0t thank you enough!
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Amazing!

I’m ecstatic with my new body. It is PERFECT! I can’t even put in wordshow we feel, You are so compassionate unlike any Doctor I’ve met. I realize I’ve been a needy patient and you handled me well. You’ve gone above and beyond with me after hours for medications and issues. Also more quotes than necessary, but you did it! Your work ad attentiveness to my expectations I can’t say enough!! Now to pu the finale pictures in your gallery to show how complete I am now! You are AMAZING! Thank You! It’s been a very long, hard journey! Now to live life with the new ME!*
2015-03-30T12:02:20+00:00
I’m ecstatic with my new body. It is PERFECT! I can’t even put in wordshow we feel, You are so compassionate unlike any Doctor I’ve met. I realize I’ve been a needy patient and you handled me well. You’ve gone
Read more ›

With appreciation

With appreciation for putting me back together!*
2015-03-30T12:02:40+00:00
With appreciation for putting me back together!*

I am forever grateful

I consider myself blessed to be under your care as I navigated the stormy sea of breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, reconstruction, and recovery. I cannot thank you enough and am so pleased with the results! You have all been wonderful, and I will miss seeing you even though I am thrilled to be healed and moving on! The impact you have on patients who are scared and overwhelmed cannot be overstated...and I am forever grateful.*
2015-03-30T12:03:02+00:00
I consider myself blessed to be under your care as I navigated the stormy sea of breast cancer diagnosis, surgery, reconstruction, and recovery. I cannot thank you enough and am so pleased with the results! You have all been wonderful,
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Thank You

Thank you. For me, you are as similar as God because you created me again. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel my earlier life back again. Once again thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.*
2015-03-30T12:03:24+00:00
Thank you. For me, you are as similar as God because you created me again. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel my earlier life back again. Once again thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.*

April 12, 2016

Since my hysterectomy, sex has been extremely painful. I suffered from extreme dryness and discomfort. I had no sex drive and was no longer able to experience an orgasm. Until, recently, when a friend told me about Courtney Albritton and PCI's ThermiVa treatment. I have had 2 of the 3 treatments and immediately experienced positive results. I am still in awe of the results I have experienced. The procedure was painless. Until ThermiVa, I had come to the realization that my sex life would no longer be what it once was pre-hysterectomy. I highly recommend this procedure.*
2016-05-05T11:40:35+00:00
Since my hysterectomy, sex has been extremely painful. I suffered from extreme dryness and discomfort. I had no sex drive and was no longer able to experience an orgasm. Until, recently, when a friend told me about Courtney Albritton and
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I am a patient at Dr. Andrews!

I am a patient at Dr. Andrews! I highly recommend utilizing their services. Very thorough consultations, educational and informative. They give you lots of options to fit your needs and guide you through it. Amazing staff that is highly trained with the most up to date procedures and tools. I can't say enough about Dr. Andrews and his amazing staff!*
5.0
2016-09-28T15:22:01+00:00
I am a patient at Dr. Andrews! I highly recommend utilizing their services. Very thorough consultations, educational and informative. They give you lots of options to fit your needs and guide you through it. Amazing staff that is highly trained
Read more ›

January 11, 2017

Dear Dr. Andrews,
Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me and my family. You are trustworthy, kind and personable. We really appreciate you and your talent. Thank you!*
5.0
2017-01-11T13:02:59+00:00
Dear Dr. Andrews, Thank you so much for all you’ve done for me and my family. You are trustworthy, kind and personable. We really appreciate you and your talent. Thank you!*

Amy Bonney Cejka

Just had my surgery from Dr. Andrews and everything is great!! He is the most kindest Dr. ever!*
5.0
2017-01-22T15:30:46+00:00
Just had my surgery from Dr. Andrews and everything is great!! He is the most kindest Dr. ever!*

You change peoples’ lives!

You change peoples’ lives! Words cannot express how much I love my new girls! Thank you so much for giving me exactly what I wanted. You are amazing!*
5.0
2017-02-24T14:28:06+00:00
You change peoples’ lives! Words cannot express how much I love my new girls! Thank you so much for giving me exactly what I wanted. You are amazing!*
1.0
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