Getting a Breast Lift After Breast Cancer

Jenny Decker RN's picture
Breast Lift
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In an effort to prevent breast cancer, many women opt to have a preventive mastectomy according to a press release from the American Association for Cancer Research. Why would someone decide to have their breasts removed and subsequently go through a breast lift? Imagine being told that you had a genetic mutation on the gene BRCA 1 or BRCA2. This increases your chances for developing breast cancer from the normal 12% most women face to between 50% and 85%. That is a pretty high risk.

Women who elect to have a mastectomy due to genetic mutations have often taken several years to think about what to do. They are faced with a difficult choice. A risk does not mean one will actually develop breast cancer, however on the other side of the fence there are no other preventive measures for breast cancer other than surgical removal. There is always a breast lift that can be done after, but is that the point? Making the decision is a balancing act. The woman knows her risk is high and she is nervous she will develop the cancer. Making the decision does not come easily. Life stage is also another factor to consider. Is the woman still in her childbearing years? Is the woman elderly and less likely to have her breasts removed?

All women should be doing monthly breast exams. The most common finding a woman will chance upon is a lump. There may be leakage from the nipples if the woman is not lactating. There may be a sore that doesn’t heal. Most often, breast cancer is found with a mammogram. It is essential that all women over the age of 40 get a mammogram every two years.

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Risk factors for breast cancer include:

# Increasing age
# Being female (yes, breast cancer occurs in men, too)
# Personal history
# Family history of BRCA 1 or 2
# Race
# Late or no childbearing
# Not breastfeeding
# Having extra body weight
# Drinking alcohol

This list is not all inclusive. For more information, you can go to BreastCancer.org.

If you find a lump, have discharge from your nipples or any other signs that you may have breast cancer, see a physician right away. Some may tell you not to be in such a hurry, that it often takes months to get a confirmed diagnosis anyway, however, if yours happens to be an invasive cancer, you may not have months. Most breast cancer is easily treated so do not put it off. Decisions to have a mastectomy and then a breast lift are also made in conjunction with counseling.

Sources:
Breastcancer.org
Aacr.org

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