Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer around the world. The survival rate of breast cancer is 98% if it is detected early. According to statistics from the ministry of health, after cardiovascular disease, breast cancer is the 2nd cause of death in women. With cases of breast cancer on the rise around the world and in the UAE, it has been reported that they have risen by 20% since 2009. In the UAE only 30% of the cases are diagnosed in the early stages according to government statistics.
This is however changing in the recent years thanks to the government sensitizing the need for people to proactively take charge of their health and increase understanding as well as empowering women in the fight against cancer.
Although the exact cause of breast cancer is yet to be known, certain factors such as age, genetics, breast tissue type and lifestyle are closely related to it.
Lifestyle risk factors that correlate with breast cancer include high weight/obesity, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, stress and environmental factors such as pollution and exposure to cancerogenic substances.
Although many recommendations regarding lifestyle have been published and are known, the current prevalence of cancers (and cardiovascular diseases) in the UAE (and the US) suggests that the guidelines are not widely adopted. The breast cancer center of Johns Hopkins Medical School, ranked # 1 medical school in the US, recommends that in order to reduce chances of breast cancer occurring or prevent it from recurring, as well as managing the post mastectomy phase guidelines for health eating should be followed, which include:
- Increase intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Decrease fat intake to less than 30 percent of calories
- Minimize intake of processed, cured, pickled and smoked foods
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
The increase of breast cancer, as well as the higher mastectomy and survival rate due to increased screening and earlier detection has contributed to a rise in breast reconstruction.
Thanks to modern medicine and the availability of highly skilled surgeons, women in the UAE have a variety of choices to reconstruct their breasts in a natural way after a mastectomy. Having a mastectomy (breast removal) is a lifesaving procedure but it can leave one feeling dull and not whole and unhappy. Choosing to undergo a breast reconstruction surgery is important as it can give a woman a new lease of life as well as increasing their self-esteem.
The goal of a breast reconstruction is to restore one or both breasts to near normal shape, symmetry, appearance and size following a mastectomy, lumpectomy or congenital deformities. Breast reconstruction is not a quick one-time procedure and it needs patience because it often involves multiple procedures which are performed in stages. The breast reconstruction treatment can either begin at the time of mastectomy or be delayed until a later date depending on the patient.
Breast reconstruction falls into two categories: implant-based reconstruction or flap reconstruction. Implant-based reconstruction relies on implants for the formation of a new breast mound. Flap or autologous reconstruction uses the patient’s own tissue from another part of the body so as to form a new breast.
There are some factors that should be considered when choosing the best option such as:
- Cancer treatments
- Type of mastectomy
- Patient’s body type
Benefits of breast reconstruction
- Restores self-esteem and self-confidence in a woman. The breasts are an important part of a woman’s body and plays a huge role in her femininity. That is why their loss can easily affect her self-esteem and self-confidence. When a woman undergoes breast reconstruction, it gives her back what she lost and helps her to move on after breast cancer.
- Brings proportion and balance back to a woman’s body. It is normal for a woman to feel that her body has lost its proportions and feminine contour after a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction brings back that type of balance to her appearance thus making her feel more comfortable in clothing and in her own body as well.
- Ability to customize to a woman’s unique needs. There are a variety of options in breast reconstruction today, from the surgery’s timing to the method in which it is performed. Plastic Surgeons can tailor the procedures to the specific needs and outcome desires of each individual patient and body type. This ensures that women get the results that they are looking for and in their own terms.
- The results are dramatic and permanent. Breast reconstruction surgery offers women natural results which are long-lasting and even permanent, thereby eliminating the need for additional Plastic Surgery later on.
Book an appointment for a consultation
Would you like to understand what the best options for your breast reconstruction are? Meet one of our experts at Al Shunnar Plastic Surgery for a personal consultation, to develop a tailor-made plan for you. Contact us or Book an appointment and our patient care coordinators will identify the most suitable expert for you.