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Tag Archives: terri coutee

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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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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