4 years ago I was diagnosed with microcalcifications in Paris France. First surgery has proved benign microcalcifications but 6 months later when other microcalcifications were found, I insisted on removing those as well amid protests of my surgeon. Lucy for me. Diagnosis came as"Carcinoma in situ". I changed my surgeon. My new surgeon suggested to remove the breast because it has been touched too many times by a knife.Unfortunately they removed 13 lymph nodes and they were negative. Now they tell me it was not necessary and I could have gotten away with tumor removal and should have kept my breast.The lymph node removal was not necessary either and because of that I am almost an invalid with my shoulder. I cannot stretch my arm. Anyway what has happened has happened. It is too late for all that now. My question is: Should I have breast reconstruction as suggested by my surgeon? They are going to touch the other breast to align the two. Would touching the other breast trigger another cancer.(This breast hurts from time to time although nothing was found in it)Can they reconstruct without touching the other? Or shall I go ahead and have the other breast removed and have both of them reconstructed for security reasons? My surgery is scheduled for the 22 of june and I am having nightmares about it since my experience with surgeons was nightmarish. They have really messed me up...So far I am cancer free. Shall I wait this 5 year period?Please express your opinion
Dear Dee Clarke, Having surgery does not "trigger" cancer. The decision regarding reconstruction needs to be made based on a weighing of the risks and benefits in your particular situation. You should consult with a plastic surgeon regarding the options for surgery and the realistic expected cosmetic result.
Whether to reconfigure the other breast is mainly a cosmetic decision having to do with its size and shape as well as the type of reconstruction you'd have on the other side. It's not a matter of necessity, but of symmetry. And there is absolutely no data to suggest in any way that surgical "touching" of a breast has any influence on whether cancer develops. Having had it on one side, there is some risk of developing it on the other side, but generally removing that side is not considered a necessary move; but it is done for peace of mind in many cases. Also, the risk can be reduced by taking tamoxifen or other hormone blocking drugs for a period of time. There are no right answers to any of this: having reconstruction is a personal decision, as is the type, and the handling of the opposite breast. You ought to be sure you are dealing with an experienced, reputable plastic surgeon, and ask him/her what all of the options are, and exactly why the surgeon recommends the particular choices he/she does.
Thank you, Dear Surgeon for promptly answering my letter. The plastic surgeon is one of the most reputable in Paris. If I decide to go ahead with this reconstruction I will ask her to remove the existing breast for my peace of mind. She is going to remove some of it anyway. Why not the whole breast...Since I am diabetic she will not use the body fat from the abdomen but saline filled silicone...Is there any chance of allergy to a foreign material? Thank you sincerely...
There is virtually no chance of allergic reaction although it sometimes happens that there's a strong scar tissure formation around the implant. That can require some local measures, but is not an issue in terms of general health.
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