About Breast Reconstruction

A woman's breast cancer diagnosis is oftentimes complicated by other difficult decisions she must make, such as undergoing breast reconstruction. The 2012 Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction program was recently updated to include more comprehensive information so that patients can feel further informed and comfortable about the procedures, expectations, and other factors regarding breast reconstruction. These changes were made after Cancer Support Community (CSC) conducted a national survey in an effort to better understand patients’ information seeking experiences, patient-provider communication, and knowledge about breast reconstruction.  

Results showed that while they were generally satisfied with the information provided by their health care team, further information on realistic expectations about the procedures and outcomes, stages throughout the breast reconstruction process, and various breast reconstruction treatment options would have been preferred.  Therefore, updated information in the 2012 Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction focus on:
  • The primary reconstruction and non-reconstruction options available for women affected by breast cancer. 
  • Common short and long-term expectations, with facts about the benefits and challenges for each reconstruction option, offered in a chart for easy comparison.
  • Important medical and emotional influences that affect most women, with guidance for practical solutions and tools for "empowerment".
  • Valuable questions to ask and discuss with oncology and plastic surgery professionals, family members, insurance companies, and yourself.  
  • The recovery process after breast surgery, with many helpful tips and resources worth knowing about.
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With guidance from survivors, breast cancer experts, plastic surgeons, social workers, breast cancer advocates and many others, the 2012 Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Spotlight on Breast Reconstruction program hopes to increase the quality and scope of information that women receive so they feel empowered when dealing with breast reconstruction decisions.  CSC would like to thank its partners Bright Pink , FORCE , Living Beyond Breast Cancer , and Young Survival Coalition for their hard work as well as MENTOR for their generous contributions for this program.

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