Prevent Depression after Breast Cancer Surgery with Breast Reconstructive Surgery
The term breast cancer refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Most cases occur in women over the age of 50 but breast cancer can occur in younger women. If you notice any lump or change to your normal breast, then you should see a doctor promptly.
There are two main types of surgery to remove breast cancer:
• Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) – In which only the part of the breast containing the cancer is removed. The goal is to remove the cancer as well as some surrounding normal tissue. How much of the breast is removed depends on the size and location of the tumor and other factors.
• Mastectomy– in which the entire breast is removed, including all of the breast tissue and sometimes other nearby tissues. Some women may also get a double mastectomy, in which both breasts are removed.
Reconstructive Breast Surgery
You may have had or are about to have a mastectomy, either because you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or are at very high risk of developing it in the future. If so, your doctor may have told you about options to rebuild your breast or breasts — a surgery called breast reconstruction. Typically, breast reconstruction takes place during or soon after mastectomy, and in some cases, lumpectomy. Breast reconstruction also can be done many months or even years after mastectomy or lumpectomy. During reconstruction, an aethestic surgeon creates a breast shape using an artificial implant (implant reconstruction), a flap of tissue from another place on your body (autologous reconstruction), or both.
Who can have breast reconstruction?
Breast reconstruction is possible for most women who have had their whole breast removed. Even if you have had a radical mastectomy, radiotherapy or large breasts.
If you are well enough, you may have a breast reconstruction at any age. But reconstruction may be difficult in women who smoke, are very overweight, or who have illnesses that increase the risk of surgery. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
Whatever your age, relationship status or, sexual activity, you can’t predict how you will react to losing a breast. It’s normal to feel anxious, uncertain, sad, and mournful about giving up a part of your body that was one of the hallmarks of becoming a woman: a significant part of your sexuality, what made you look good in clothes, how you might have fed your babies. No one can ever take that away from you. Moving forward, you now have the opportunity to determine what you want to have happen next.