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The Delicacy Of Choosing: Life After Mastectomy

Posted by Dr Ashish Dutta on 7 March 2018


Life can be a hard road to navigate and is not helped through the difficult choices which have to be made by women regarding the procedure known as Mastectomy. The very idea of losing such an intimate part of the body can make even broaching this subject very difficult for those who have to experience it - either forcefully due to illness or by a combination of informed choice such as the procedure which was bravely undergone in the glare of the public spotlight by humanitarian and Hollywood celebrity, Angelina Jolie.

The loss of one or both breasts due to illness or accident can be very traumatic indeed and although professional counseling can be of some help, but it can have a long lasting effect. The resulting possible loss of self esteem and the self realization to long-term recovery both physically and mentally can be challenging.

Following a Mastectomy, the options open to a woman can be to have reconstructive surgery, wear a crafted prosthesis or to live with the disfigurement. All of those choices have their own pros and cons, including the physical and emotional consequences (and, it isn’t ethically right to debate the merits of each and every procedure here.)

There is however, a growing industry relating to servicing the needs of women in this position. Several respectable world-wide companies have developed elements of assistance, such as German brand Anita, which caters to prosthetic enhancements in the form of specifically crafted and tailor-made Bras or enhanced prosthetic supports. The beauty of the internet these days is that anyone can generally investigate the availability of such products with a little detective work on Google. This is in addition to the existing, well established breast tissue rebuilding which is available through various surgical procedures. Statistics for American breast cancer survivors indicate that some 56 percent of women undergo reconstructive surgery via these traditional medical and clinical means.

Let us be clear, there is no standard solution for regaining health and wellbeing, especially after following chemical and radioactive treatment with the body taking time to purge the unpleasant side effects. Healing time can be variable and individual to the patient. The very best care can often start with the effective diagnosis of the illness and a frank discussion with the prospective patient regarding the results and possible consequences of a Mastectomy; if it be inevitable or requested as preventative. Such life changing procedure(s) must be discussed with your health professional and the possible consequences of treatments explored to the full satisfaction of both parties, no matter how delicate the conversation may be, before further action is contemplated.