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Tag Archives: breast reconstruction

Immediate Reconstruction Post Mastectomy

Shelly Straubby Shelly Straub, Living with Cancer


To have or not to have… immediate reconstruction after a double mastectomy.


It’s a pretty serious question thrown at you shortly after you hear the words “you have breast cancer.”  I remember being in a fog after learning of my diagnosis and thinking “does it really matter because I have CANCER and could die – does the physical shape of my body after surgery really matter at all?”


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Breast Reconstruction Choices Part 2: Choosing Autologous Tissue Reconstruction

TerriCouteeby Terri Coutee, CKN Advisory Board Member


Read Part One here


The conversation seems straightforward enough.

“You have breast cancer.  Evaluating all tests and medical variables from your diagnosis we feel the best medical plan to reduce the chance of recurrence will be to perform a mastectomy.  We will refer you to a plastic surgeon so that you can learn about your choices for reconstructing your breasts.  It is your personal choice but we feel you deserve to at least meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options.  They can guide you in a shared decision making process about next steps after a mastectomy.”


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An Introduction to Breast Reconstruction

DanielLiuby Daniel Z. Liu, M.D., Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Cancer Treatment Centers of America


As a reconstructive plastic surgeon at a cancer center, my mission is to educate women and men about their reconstruction options after breast cancer diagnosis.  Studies have shown that most women want to learn about breast reconstruction surgery results prior to cancer treatment.  However, a minority of women become familiar with the wide range of breast reconstruction options available.  Even fewer understand the importance of timing and how it impacts their reconstructive options and results.


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Risk-Reducing Surgery: No Regrets

KarenMalkinby Karen Malkin- Lazarovitz, Patient/Health Advocate


I removed my healthy breasts and ovaries and have no regrets.

In fact, I am extremely proud of my decision and would not change a thing.


I tested positive for the BRCA2 mutation which gave me an 87% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and a 40% lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer.  From the second I found out, I felt like a ticking time bomb. I knew I could control my fate, and so, I dealt cancer a pre-emptive strike!


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Breast Reconstruction Choices Part 1: Choosing Implants

TerriCouteeby Terri Coutee, CKN Advisory Board Member

I am an advocate for all choices of breast reconstruction after mastectomy.  This two-part blog will look at options for breast reconstruction.  Statistically speaking, women in the United States have a 12% or 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.  It is estimated that over 2,200 men will develop breast cancer each year in the United States.  Women and men have mastectomies for basically two reasons.  They have either been diagnosed with breast cancer or they have tested positive for the BRCA gene.  It is far more common for women to have breast reconstruction than men and certainly if implants are chosen.  Men who choose breast reconstruction generally use fat grafting to restore loss of breast tissue and rebuild the chest wall area.


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A Purposeful Life

TerriCouteeby Terri Coutee, CKN Advisory Board Member


I have had breast cancer twice.  Once when I was 47 and again when I was 58.  Most people react with, “Oh, I’m sorry”, when you share that news with them.  I was sorry the first time I heard the news and twice as sorry when I heard it the second time.  I cried, cursed, laid awake at night worrying, and ruminated on the what ifs.  Those were all necessary but far more important to me was finding a purposeful life and moving on.  After my first diagnosis I always told people that I was happy I could get up each day and plant my two feet on the ground.  After my second diagnosis I took that to a new level and put it into action.

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