October press release
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year more than 203,000
women were diagnosed with breast cancer and American Society of
Plastic Surgeons members performed more than 73,000 breast
board-certified plastic surgeon in Santa Monica who regularly works
with breast cancer survivors, I strongly urge support of October as
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by reminding women you love
to schedule regular cancer screenings, including both examinations
detection through self-examination and medical screening are key
prevention methods. For the estimated 211,000 women that will be
diagnosed with breast cancer this year, advancements in treatment
therapies including lumpectomies and skin-sparing mastectomies,
which provide better short- and long-term cosmetic results, as well
as break-through legislation have helped make such devastating news
easier to bear.
Improvements in post-surgical therapies, including several breast
reconstruction options, are helping allay the fear of disfigurement
from mastectomy. Typically, plastic surgeons make recommendations
based upon patientsí age, health, anatomy, tissues, and goals. The
most common procedures include skin expansion followed by the use of
implants, or flap reconstruction.
important to breast cancer survivors is the 1998 passage of the
Womenís Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) that mandates insurance
coverage for breast reconstruction following mastectomy.
Board-certified plastic surgeons, such as myself, know first-hand
how breast reconstruction improves a survivorís self-esteem and
confidence after mastectomy.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) was a major supporter of
the WHCRA, and is proud to have been part of the effort to stop
insurance denials for this important surgery. Now almost every woman
who loses her breast to cancer has the option to have it rebuilt
through reconstructive surgery. Breast reconstruction procedures
increased nearly 150% between 1992 and 2002, with 73,026 women
choosing reconstruction in 2002.
members of ASPS and I are well aware of the devastating effects of
breast cancer. We support all women in their fight against the
disease. For all breast cancer patients who require mastectomy, I
suggest the following: talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon
regarding reconstruction options, and discuss the pros, cons, and
realistic expectations of those options. For more information,
contact my office or follow the link to the ASPS Web site at