In the US, more than 180,000 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year. Many of these women will undergo mastectomy surgery that will result in disfiguring scars because they are unaware of the availability of skin-sparing mastectomies and did not ask their surgeons about this treatment option. Skin-sparing mastectomy is a surgical technique to remove cancerous breast tissue by using the same minimal and judiciously placed incisions used by plastic surgeons for elective breast surgery.
Despite the availability of skin-sparing mastectomies, a recent California study published in The American Surgeon found that more than one-third of board-certified breast surgeons surveyed still regularly use the archaic practice of cutting across the whole breast, resulting in unnecessarily disfiguring scars even after breast reconstruction.
"Amidst the shock and anxiety of a breast cancer diagnosis, many women and some physicians consider the appearance of the breasts of secondary importance and not worthy of serious consideration compared to the treatment of cancer," said Joel Aronowitz, MD, Clinical Chief of Plastic Surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center and founder of the Breast Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness and educating women and their caregivers about skin-sparing mastectomy.
"We know that skin sparing and old style transverse mastectomy techniques are equal in effectiveness as cancer treatments," says Aronowitz. "Therefore, every woman has a right to be informed about choices in mastectomy surgery that improve the cosmetic appearance of the breast and be able to consider all options before embarking on major surgery that will impact their overall quality of life."
Source: Medical News Today]