Breast Cancer Patients have New Options for Breast Reconstruction

dr david whitemanA recent article from The Sacramento Bee reported that there are now more breast reconstruction options producing natural looking results for breast cancer patients than there once was. Breast cancer takes a toll on its victims, both physically and emotionally. As the breast cancer patients in the article asked, was looking great after such a tough experience too much to ask? Breast reconstruction surgeons, like Dr. David Whiteman, don’t think so.

Cheri Person spoke out about her experience in the article discussing the thick, red scars she was left with after her double lumpectomy. She even said that she dreaded looking at herself in the mirror. Person knew something had to change, so she found a plastic surgeon to perform a mastectomy (to remove what was left of the breast tissue) and rebuild her chest with breast reconstruction.

As a double board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Whiteman works to provide his patients with the best plastic surgery results possible, and that extends to his reconstructive surgery patients as well. He has seen firsthand how natural looking breast reconstruction results can boost a survivor’s confidence and self-esteem. He has also watched the field of breast reconstruction expand.

Aside from more reconstruction options becoming available, more breast cancer patients are now pursuing breast reconstruction after cancer treatment. In fact, over 96,000 out of 250,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer received reconstruction in 2011. The article states that more women may be pursuing reconstruction than before because patients are being diagnosed at a younger age.

Dr. Whiteman performs breast reconstruction here at Southern Plastic Surgery using the patient’s skin, muscle, and fat to create new breast(s) that are proportional to the patient’s other features. Breast implants can be used in breast reconstruction to provide natural-looking volume enhancement, but if there is not an adequate amount of tissue after mastectomy, tissue expanders may be used to allow room for the breast implant. There are times when cancer only affects one breast. In these cases, Dr. Whiteman will use cosmetic breast surgery techniques like breast lift or breast reduction to ensure symmetry.

Plastic surgeons are constantly researching to find more options for breast reconstruction because they know that, like the majority of plastic surgery procedures, breast reconstruction is not one-size-fits-all. For instance, you may have heard about Suzanne Somers’ reconstruction procedure recently in the news. A bilateral lumpectomy left Somers with one breast looking deflated compared to the other. Instead of receiving a breast implant to make her breasts symmetrical, Somers opted for adipose-derived stem cell surgery. Similar to fat-grafting and fat transfer techniques, the stem cell surgery removes tissue from an area of the body to be placed in the breast. During surgery, the tissue that was removed is processed right in the operating room to boost stem cell concentration. Then, the remaining substance is injected into the breast where the stem cells eventually mature and regenerate. Although the long-term results of this new procedure have not been determined, researchers have determined that this technique is safe as long as there are no active cancer cells remaining in the breast.

Dr. Whiteman knows that breast reconstruction is all part of the healing journey and agrees with the article’s claim that women who are diagnosed with breast cancer often find a sisterhood among other women going through treatment and reconstruction. He’s even helped facilitate this camaraderie between his own patients by forming support groups, called the Buddy System, between his breast reconstruction patients and breast cancer survivors. He also founded Life after the Fight, a business listing to promote the professional ventures of breast cancer survivors.

To learn more about Dr. Whiteman’s breast reconstruction surgery techniques, the Buddy System, Life after the Fight, or if you are interested in plastic surgery, visit his website. Be sure to connect with him on Facebook and Twitter if you haven’t already for plastic and reconstruction surgery news and updates.

Dr. Whiteman of Southern Plastic Surgery is Proud to Announce the Launch of ‘Life After the Fight’ – A Business Directory Committed to Supporting and Promoting the Professional Ventures of Breast Cancer Survivors!

After years of working with breast reconstruction patients and involvement on the board of The Sport of Giving, a local breast cancer (now all women’s cancer) nonprofit, Dr. Whiteman noticed an inspiring trend among these women. Becoming painfully aware that life is short, many survivors’ battles with the disease become a catalyst for them to start their own businesses and begin new careers that truly made them happy. Thinking of how great it would be to make others aware of these strong women and their new businesses, “Life After the Fight” was born.

Life After the Fight is a local business directory that ONLY lists the businesses of breast cancer survivors – an effort to promote and support these amazing women’s professional ventures as they move on with their lives. Through the forum of Facebook, Life After the Fight is also a way for these survivors to support and interact with each other.

We at Life After the Fight say that these businesses are built from the strength of the survivors that created them – so not only are you supporting breast cancer survivors, but your are getting access to and information on some GREAT businesses in the local area.
WE NEED BUSINESS SUBMISSIONS:

If you are a breast cancer survivor, or would like to submit a business on behalf of a survivor, you can either post your business information on the Life After the Fight Facebook page wall or submit the following information via email to lifeafterthefight@gmail.com :

• Name of your business/service
• A short description of your services
• Business phone number, email, and website

*Businesses submitted both via Facebook and email will be included on this Life After the Fight directory webpage.

*Business submissions are based on the honor system, please respect the fact that Life After the Fight is meant to provide information and support solely for the businesses of breast cancer survivors/patients.
Click here or read below to find out more about Life After the Fight. And don’t forget to become a fan of Life After the Fight on Facebook!!

We encourage you to suggest the page to all of your friends (via the ‘suggest to friends’ link under the default picture on the facebook fan page). The more people that know about Life After the Fight, the more we can support these survivors!

Older Women Who Drink Alcohol May Have Higher Risk of Recurrent Breast Cancer

A recent study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggests that older women who have three to four alcoholic beverages a week are more likely to have their breast cancer return.
The study, performed though Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cancer Registry, looked at 1,900 women who had beaten early-stage invasive breast cancer between the years of 1997 and 2000. The women, who self-reported the amount of alcohol they consumed weekly, were followed for eight consecutive years.

The findings revealed that the women who reported drinking less than a half a drink a day had no higher risk of the breast cancer returning. However, women who reported drinking three to four alcoholic beverages a week experienced a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. The more alcohol the women reported drinking, the higher the risk. The study also found the risk to be even higher in the women who were overweight.

Researchers believe the cause of these findings to be linked to estrogen. Many breast cancers are propelled by estrogen, and alcohol has been known to increase the rate in which a women’s body processes estrogen.

While these findings do not mean that if you drink alcohol you will get breast cancer or that your breast cancer will return, it is simply another reason to consume alcohol in moderation and strive to maintain your overall health.

Dr. Whiteman is a board member and serves as medical director for The Sport of Giving, a nonprofit organization that has raised over a million dollars in support of breast cancer care and prevention in the local area. It is progressive research such as this study that will help women to be informed about the disease and allow them to make the healthiest choices possible.

For more about Dr. Whiteman’s involvement in the breast cancer cause and to learn about his breast reconstruction ‘buddy system’ visit our website.