Breast cancer has always meant serious consequences for women. Advances in medicine have not only helped women treat this cancer effectively, they have also allowed them to identify its likelihood in the future. Unfortunately, the primary solution to this issue has usually been a mastectomy.
How Breast Cancer Is Prevented Surgically
When cancerous tumors are identified in breast tissue, or their likely formation is detected, surgeons can save a woman’s life by removing the breast tissue. Known as a mastectomy, this surgical option has always been a dubious opportunity for women. Removal of the breasts, in the eyes of many who suffer this solution, often seems like a reduction in femininity.
Breast Augmentation Solution
Fortunately, for a growing number of women, plastic surgery is offering a way to remediate the concerns about mastectomies by replacing women’s breast tissues with implants. Once seen as a primarily cosmetic and elective surgery, breast augmentation is now offering women with breast cancer or in danger of breast cancer to save their lives, their appearances and their self-images. After removing the tumors or the entire quantity of breast tissue, plastic surgeons can insert implants and remove the stigma that many breast cancer survivors have felt in the past.
Additional Advances in Breast Cancer Treatment
In the past, mastectomies had a varying impact on patients that could sometimes leave breast augmentation out as an option. In some cases, women had so much removed that they even lost their nipples. New techniques used before surgery, on the operating table and afterward are helping women to retain more of their breasts while still defeating cancer.
The combination of these advances and new approaches has created a new form of surgery known as “oncoplastic surgery” because the procedures include aspects of both oncology and plastic surgery. The oncology is meant to treat the cancer, while the plastic surgery restores the woman’s natural appearance.
This procedure or series of procedures recently made the news when Angelina Jolie went public with her own breast cancer struggles. The actress had surgeons remove both her breasts after she was identified as carrying the gene that is likely to produce breast cancer. Thanks to this preventative measure, she was able to keep her nipples and use implants to preserve the appearance of her breasts.
In addition to these surgical advances, doctors have also discovered a number of complementary ways to help women in this situation. For example, they have discovered how to target tumors with different therapies prior to surgery in order to shrink tumors so that more breast tissue can be saved. They have even found ways to remove fewer lymph nodes, preserving immunity responses, and can approach the breast via the armpit in order to reduce visible scarring.
Breast cancer remains a serious threat to the health of women around the world. However, women diagnosed with this cancer or identified as likely to suffer it now have more options. More options are always welcome when it comes to confronting cancer and taking measures to prevent it.