Every year, people around the world show their support for those affected by breast cancer. The month of October sees international campaigns shining a light on the devastating effects of the disease itself, as well as fund raising for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.
On the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Cosmesurge is offering a complimentary breast reconstructive surgery for one of the breast cancer survivors in contribution towards the initiatives of this month, and to give their support to survivors of the disease. Breast cancer, albeit a devastating illness to those afflicted by it, has seen tremendous improvements in its treatment. Specialised doctors and surgeons work to lessen both the effect of the disease itself on the body, as well as its aesthetic component.
Despite public campaigning and raising awareness, reconstructive breast surgery is still considered a taboo topic in the gulf region. Many women in the region decline life-saving surgeries for fear of disfigurement, due to a lack of awareness of the cutting-edge technology and techniques that healthcare professionals use to aid in the healing process.
Dr. Catherine Bergeret, plastic and reconstructive surgeon at CosmeSurge Jumeirah Hospital, says her patients ask her about alternatives to mastectomies, in which the breast is either partially or completely removed, so that they may retain their femininity.
“In my experience, women in region unfortunately still consider breast and tumour removal to be taboo, and I feel that this is due to a lack of proper guidance these women are provided with prior to treatment. There is a definite lack of emphasis placed on reconstructive options post-surgery, which is a key to a cancer survivor’s physical and emotional healing.”
Dr. Catherine says she can empathise with her patients who wish to not carry the physical mark that breast cancer can leave behind.
“I completely understand wanting to look good and carry on with life after surgery. At CosmeSurge, breast surgeons refer patients for consultation with an experienced breast reconstructive plastic surgeon after diagnosis to discuss options. There’s more than 20 types of reconstructive treatments available that are tailor-made to fit the patient; some methods are less invasive than others. Depending on the patient, we do many types of immediate breast reconstructions during the mastectomy itself, since this is the easiest way for a patient to initiate their post-cancer period.” Dr. Catherine Bergeret adds.
Reconstructive options include implant reconstruction using silicon gel as the most common procedure, as well as flap reconstruction using tissues transplanted from other parts of the body, and mesh placement. Women who have undergone reconstruction surgery can live a normal life and indulge in all physical activities including exercising or even swimming without hindrance.
Women are encouraged to perform self breast exams and keep up with mammography for early detection. If breast cancer is unfortunately diagnosed, whether it is benign or highly aggressive, advanced and progressive reconstructive options are readily available and should be a part of the cancer management conversation.