Some Things to Consider About Breast Reconstruction After Cancer Surgery
In 1998, then President Bill Clinton breast reconstruction signed into the law the Women's Health and Cancer Reconstruction Act (WHCRA). The intention of this bill was to ensure than patients who underwent mastectomy for the treatment of breast cancer can gain access to reconstruction through their insurance plans.
Many insurances did not cover reconstruction after breast cancer surgery because it was considered 'cosmetic' surgery previously. Many patients thought this too, and as a result, avoided undergoing reconstruction. As of 2012 the National Cancer Institute reports that only about 20% of breast cancer patients receive reconstruction, even though the law was supposed to rectify that situation.
Why is that? The explanations are complex, and involve a mixture of things.
When a patient is clinically determined to have cancer of the breast, it is usually stressful and emotional, as anyone might expect, and often the foremost issue is eliminating the cancer-not the way they can look afterwards, that i understand. Management of cancer dominates the practical method of cancer, and rightly so. Without having a cure, there is absolutely no reconstruction.
As a result, reconstruction is generally regarded as a 'secondary' procedure and not part of the 'primary' aim of treatment, which is, of course, curing the cancer. So, even in spite of a government mandate that provides insurance coverage for the process of breast reconstruction, this is apparently not enough to influence the practical approach both patients and doctors.
Having Said That I argue, having performed many breast reconstructions, that portion of the cure also entails creating a patient feel whole again, as well as for many women (although not all) this entails reconstruction, or at a minimum the ability to pursue it, in that case desired.
A 20% reconstruction rate suggests that breast reconstruction after cancer surgery is not always given the place it really deserves in the treatment of cancer because it is still consideredsecondary and optional, or not that critical to consider initially.
Often breast cancer reconstruction involves as heavy commitment of time, and often multiple surgeries to achieve its results,. That's but to be fair, there are also other considerations as well, which are important, the most important being. This may not be all that attractive to anyone who has experienced the stress and worry of cancer surgery accompanied by a course of chemotherapy and/or radiation, which is understandable. After all, who would like to proceed through a period consuming and stressful process immediately after they have got been through an occasion consuming and stressful process?
And finally, there is, whether people prefer to admit or otherwise, a sense that breast reconstruction is type of a 'vain' undertaking. Beating cancer takes courage, and a part of courage is humility and thankfulness, which seem at odd with planning to make yourself look better.
I don't agree with this perception, but it is a real phenomena which I have observed personally in my practice. Contemplate it for just a moment. Imagine you happen to be young woman, and you might have children, and you have just fought and survived through breast cancer. Your perspective on what is really important may change as a result of the experience you just had, and now, the investment of time and effort that is necessary to have a reconstructed breast in order to make yourself look and feel better may not be as important to you as spending time with your loved ones. If you are an older woman, you may think something along the lines of, likewise: what might I want a breast later inside my life?
But undergoing reconstruction from the breast after cancer surgery is not really a vain or self-centered pursuit at all. Once again, beating cancer takes great courage, and thankfulness, humility and indeed are integral parts of courage, but so are feeling confident, whole, and strong, which breast cancer reconstruction can help provide for many patients.
That being said, ultimately precisely what is most important is really a patient's wishes, and yes, sometimes delaying or forgoing cancer of the breast reconstruction altogether is the greatest step that may be taken for a few of the reasons that I have previously mentioned (ie stress, family, time commitment, etc.)
Still, and it suggests something more to me breast reconstruction than people don't want breast cancer reconstruction because they are too tired after cancer treatment or think that the process is somewhat vain, a 20% rate of breast reconstruction is awfully low. If you have no intention of every undergoing breast reconstruction, you should talk the time to inform and educate yourself about the option in detail through a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon, it suggests a lack of information, and it is an important reason why I believe that even.