breast cancer scars : Every year more than 26,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in Spain; is the most common among women and thanks to scientific advances and early diagnosis, survival has increased to 90%, but the tumor leaves in them important scars, both physical and psychological.
breast cancer scars
The Spanish Society of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (Secpre) estimates that in six out of 10 cases of breast cancer those affected lose their breasts, which is a very important psychological impact for most of them.
In order to reduce this impact and avoid new operations, hospitals that have restorative surgery (and as long as the characteristics of the tumor allow it) offer patients to undergo an immediate reconstruction of the breast in the same intervention in which they perform the mastectomy.
The problem, according to details to Efe on World Breast Cancer Day Dr. Ainhoa Placer, vocal communication of the Board of Directors of the Secpre, is that many hospitals do not have this medical specialty, with what women should wait for be referred to another center to carry out delayed breast reconstruction.
Therefore, of the 16,000 women who undergo a mastectomy every year, only 1,920 (12%) are reconstructed the breast immediately and about 4,800 (30%) do it later.
“Plastic surgery is a specialty that does not have all hospitals and this service is necessary for reconstruction to be immediate,” says Placer, who laments that in centers where there are no such surgeons “there are some specialties that get to do the reconstruction. “
“Honestly, it’s a mistake because sometimes it’s more complex to fix what’s wrong than to do it deferred,” he warns.
Thus, although the ideal from the psychological point of view is that the woman is not amputated, sometimes it is more convenient to wait to rebuild the breast.
In this sense, Placer also points out that the assessment of the final result of the reconstruction is better in the case of women who have been amputated, because the surgery never leaves the chest as before the intervention and “those who have not seen amputees are not aware “of it.
“Any reconstruction, however good it may be, will never be a breast as if nothing had happened,” so women value the results more if they have seen mastectomy before.
For his part, the president of the Spanish Association of Surgeons of the Mama (Aecima), Ricardo Pardo García, tells Efe that to be within European standards, conservative surgery should represent between 60 and 70% of operations of breast, figures far from reality.
According to this expert, “mastectomy and conservative surgery have been shown to be equally effective in the treatment of breast cancer,” but there is a more aggressive tendency to perform mastectomies for patients carrying Oncogenes BRCA 1 and 2 (Angelina Jolie syndrome). and patients with important family burden.
However, doing these mastectomies “has not yet shown clearly that increases the survival of those patients who are closely monitored.”
Pardo Garcia clarifies, however, that mastectomies have evolved from those that required the removal of the breast along with the large muscles of the thorax, to some current preservatives of the nipple areola complex or skin preservatives with reconstruction in which the skin is preserved not affected and the results obtained are optimal.
In addition, not only mastectomies leave scars (physical and psychological) in women with breast cancer, but also conservative surgeries sometimes end up with very difficult results for many women to accept.
Therefore, from the Secpre the presence of plastic surgeons is claimed in any operation in which an area of the breast is to be removed.
“The conservative surgery can also be very mutilating, because if you remove all the lower pole of the breast, there is a horrible breast that is very difficult to improve, but if you do it with a reduction pattern, you have a perfect breast , smaller but perfect, “he explains.
This is what is called oncoplastic surgery, which involves applying plastic surgery techniques to conservative surgery.
“We must take more into account when doing any breast surgery”, because “to amputate a whole piece of breast to do it with oncoplastic techniques there is a chasm”.
The “scars” left by breast cancer today will be discussed in the many events that take place in different parts of Spain.
The pink ribbon will be present in the Plaza de Colón in Madrid, where the City Council spokesperson, Rita Maestre, will be covering the head of the sculpture “Woman with a mirror”, with a pink crochet handkerchief, by Botero, or in Barcelona, where five surviving women will explain the consequences of the disease: Carmen Serveira, Mertixil Girones, Noria de Gisbert, Magda Ornich and Carmen Panilla.