Now, if breast cancer is so common, why aren’t many of our women coming forward to get themselves checked? And, why aren’t many of our women going for mammograms, or going to a doctor urgently if you have discovered a breast lump. Now, one of the barriers to this is that women are afraid. Women are afraid, that once diagnosed with breast cancer, they will lose their breasts. The breast is an organ that can be very emotional. For a woman, it is a symbol of femininity, and perhaps, losing it could have a significant psychological impact. Now, the truth is that, current advances in surgical techniques mean that once diagnosed with breast cancer, the woman does not have to lose her breast. Mastectomy or removal of the entire breast does not have to be the only way out. For example, if breast cancer is diagnosed early, lumpectomy or removal of the cancer alone is enough and sufficient to treat the disease. But, if diagnosed a little later, or if the breast cancer involves many parts of the breast, therefore, mastectomy is unavoidable. Reconstructive techniques can reconstruct a new breast and help restore the woman’s body image. The newest advance is that of oncoplastic technique. Oncoplastic techniques integrate plastic surgical techniques into the removal of breast cancers. By doing so, the breast cancer is removed, and at the same time, these techniques will help reshape the breast to avoid deformities, and to enhance the appearance of the breast after surgery. A lot of women come out of an oncoplastic procedure for breast cancer feeling as though they have undergone a plastic procedure for breast cancer. So to them, it is a bonus despite the fact that they have been diagnosed with cancer.
Answered by: Dr Esther Chuwa