From an interview with
Dr. Tasha Martin
McLeod Brest Cancer Surgeon
For some women, cancer surgery can be an opportunity to reduce problems they have from larger breasts.
Here’s a summary of Dr. Martin’s comments:
With a bilateral therapeutic reduction mammoplasty, or oncoplastic reduction, we are able to do the lumpectomy surgery, removing just the tumor and not the entire breast. Then, we’re also able to do a breast reduction and or a lift at the same time. This procedure is usually done with a team approach, involving both the breast surgeon and a plastic surgeon.
The great thing about this procedure is that we’re able to take out a larger tumor than we would with a standard lumpectomy. It is a very safe cancer operation and patients report a high degree of satisfaction with their cosmetic outcome.
Patients usually go home the same day as the surgery. After an oncoplastic reduction, recovery is a bit longer than a standard lumpectomy, because we’re usually operating on both breasts and the incisions are a somewhat larger. Typical recovery takes about four weeks.
The women most appropriate for this procedure have large breasts (macromastia) or have breasts that droop. Many women that undergo this procedure thought about having the procedure in the past, because they may have symptoms of back, neck, shoulder pain or rashes underneath their breast.
Most patients do very well after having a breast cancer diagnosis. They go through treatment, and they go on to live normal fulfilling lives. This just becomes a hurdle that they’ve dealt with in their past. Many patients will say that this has made them a stronger person.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
We recommend that patients get annual screening mammograms starting at age 40. Some of the guidelines will differ, based on what you’re reading, but the recommendation from the American College of Radiology is to start annual screening mammograms at 40. This is what most breast surgeons will recommend.
Have a question? Ask a Cancer Specialist.