A breast cancer diagnosis is always difficult to handle. No amount of planning can prepare patients for the news. However, early diagnosis means a better chance at treating or removing the cancer. A recent study by researchers at the Swedish Cancer Institute showed that women who used mammography to detect potential breast cancer had easier treatments and less recurrence because their cancer was detected early.
Researchers analyzed the data of nearly 2,000 breast cancer patients between the ages of 40 and 49 who were treated between 1990 and 2008. They examined the method of detection, the stage at diagnosis, what treatments were used, and information from annual follow-up appointments. The results show that over the years, the number of women diagnosed at stage 0 increased 66%, while the number of those diagnosed at stage III decreased by 66%.
The American Cancer Society recommends women undergo annual mammograms beginning at age 40 to help detect any suspicious masses at an early stage. For women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and choose to undergo a mastectomy (either unilateral or bilateral), breast reconstruction is a viable option to help restore the body to its pre-surgery appearance.
During breast reconstruction, the patient’s breast is reshaped using an implant. Dr. Elliott uses breast reconstruction methods like tissue expander, scarless latissimus, and TRAM techniques for patients who do not have an adequate amount of tissue to receive an implant after mastectomy. For patients who have undergone mastectomies, other breast procedures like breast lift or reduction can be performed during reconstruction to help achieve the patient’s desired look. Dedicated to breast reconstruction, Dr. Elliott has been helping women after mastectomy surgery for almost 30 years.