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Options for breast reconstruction after cancer

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Treatment for breast cancer most often involves a surgical procedure to remove the cancerous tumor (lumpectomy) or the entire breast (mastectomy), depending on the case.

The traumatic experience of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, along with the physical changes caused by treatment, can be an especially emotional distressful time for patients.

Breast reconstruction is an optional part of the treatment process that often helps to restore a patient’s self-confidence and better adjust to her ‘new normal.’

Fortunately, there are several options available for breast cancer patients who choose to have their breasts reconstructed after their lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Patients can choose to have them reconstructed using their own body tissue or an implant, in which case, they can choose to have either silicone or saline implants.

A new type of silicone implant, known as an anatomic implant, was approved last year and has become yet another option for patients.

The key to making an informed decision about whether or not a breast cancer patient wants to include breast reconstruction as a part of their treatment is starting the conversation with their general surgeon and plastic surgeon before the cancer treatment process even begins.

Patients should discuss all options with their plastic surgeon, as well as their individualized breast reconstruction process.

Taking a multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment, Cone Health Cancer Center’s exceptional team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, general surgeons, plastic surgeons and other cancer-related medical experts meet together to develop each patient’s individualized treatment plan and ensure that each patient is educated and comfortable with the plan.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Claire Sanger is a plastic surgeon for Cone Health Cancer Center through a partnership with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Dr. Sanger earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) in 1999 from West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

She completed her residencies in general surgery and plastic surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Dr. Sanger completed a craniofacial fellowship at Salgrenska University in Sweden, and an autologous ear reconstruction fellowship at George Bizet in France. She also serves as an assistant professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.