As October comes to a close, breast cancer awareness doesn't and shouldn't stop. Go beyond wearing pink and honoring these brave men and women for just a month. Find ways to support and love them all year round.
Happy Mid October, everyone! We hope you're still wearing your pink proudly and have been taking this month to reflect and support those who are fighting, have fought, and continue to fight the battle against breast cancer. But once this month is over, you don't have to stop your efforts. Use this month and every month to spread awareness about this disease that affects 1 in 8 women and over 2500 men a year in the US. It's a difficult fact, but most of us know at least one person who has been affected by this disease. We want to help and do anything that we can for our loved ones, but sometimes words fall short. It can be hard sometimes to know the perfect things to say or do during times of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. So, we wanted to share some tips with you on how you can support and love your loved ones as they start or continue through their journey. First, forget the pretense of perfect. Don't put that pressure on your loved one or yourself. Simple, honest things and actions from the heart always mean so much.
There is so much you can do, and even doing a little bit can go a long way. You can help your loved ones, and you can stand with them through their journey. We are here to help you stay strong, find your path, and continue your fight. We proudly wear pink for you this month and every month.
October is breast cancer awareness month. But for a survivor, it is every single day. Do you know the history behind the yearly observance and what happened before it officially started?
Happy October to our strong survivors, patients, friends, family members, and support groups. This month we will be standing together wearing pink to honor each of you. But before this yearly observance became a permanent staple in October, do you know how it was established and the history leading up to its creation? As we stand together, we wanted to share a little history of how we got to where we are today.
As you know, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an international campaign observed through the month of October. Its focus is to increase global awareness about breast cancer. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was created as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the then Imperial Chemical Industry. The aim of the organization from the start has been to promote mammography as the best form of prevention against breast cancer. The purpose now is to increase awareness, to educate about the methods of early detection and prevention, and to raise money to continue research for a cure. But at the end of the day, it all goes beyond the month of October. It is truly about working towards prevention, education, and guaranteed treatment for everyone.
The very first organized effort to bring widespread attention to Breast Cancer happened as a week-long event in October of 1986. But the journey of awareness started long before that night in October 1986.
The 1980's came in with a rush of change along with a rush of sadness. After her three year battle, Susan G. Komen passed away at the age of 36. In 1982, the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was started, and in 1983 the very first Race for the Cure was held in Texas with 800 participants. Today those numbers are in the millions, and races happen across the country. They passed out pink ribbons as a symbol for awareness at the Race for the Cure race in New York City in 1991. But the pink ribbon is something of a mystery of how it came to be the symbol it is today and who is credited with its creation.
Some credit it to Susan G. Komen, some to a woman named Charlotte Haley, and others to Evelyn Lauder. Charlotte Haley in the late 80's/early 90's started to pass out peach color ribbons to raise awareness for the lack of breast cancer funding and research after her sister, daughter, and granddaughter were all diagnosed. Evelyn Lauder, who in 1993 formed the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, along with SELF Magazine editor Alexandra Penney approached Haley to use the ribbon. She refused, saying both Estee Lauder and Self were just too corporate. These women approached their lawyers who suggested they change the color. So they took the peach ribbon and turned it pink. When the Breast Cancer Research Foundation was founded, Lauder stated the pink ribbon as its symbol. But this was two years after the Race for the Cure passed them out in 1991. No matter its origin, today it serves a symbol of survival, strength, and hope. We wear it proudly.
Since the creation of these powerful foundations, many other walks and events have been organized to raise awkwardness, education, and fund to continue research. This includes the three day Susan G. Komen 60 mile walk.
Every day your strength and your story adds to this history. Even though you and the journey you are on goes beyond this one pink month, we will continue to use it to spread awareness for you. We are here to support you, proudly stand by you, and to remind you that on this journey you are not alone.
After a mastectomy, it's best to know all the options that are available to you and to make the right choice for your body and your needs. We want to see you first and talk about all of your options, of course. But Natural Breast Reconstruction is one of those options that offers its own path. Let's visit all of these options together.
It is our passion to be here for you in your journey. From the very beginning we want to be here with support, care, and knowledge. Your journey, your needs, and your recovery are just as unique as you are. Helping you along this journey and keeping you informed and comfortable to the options readily available to you is your choice and our main focus. Having another choice is always important. As you've gone on this journey with your doctors, nurses, and support team, I'm sure you have researched, had questions, learned a lot, and searched for more options since your diagnosis.
Making smart, healthy, and informed choices dealing with your body through this process is incredibly important. As your journey continues, you'll also need to continue to make decisions. This could include making choices as you're possibly facing a mastectomy. There are many options out there for you, and the choice varies personally from patient to patient and what their needs are. You might be looking at hidden scar surgery, nipple-sparing mastectomy, implant reconstruction, or natural reconstruction. Know your options and what is best for your body and your needs.
As we continue our journey with these blogs, let's talk about natural reconstruction. This procedure takes tissue from your body (like your stomach, thighs, back, or buttocks) and creates the reconstructed breast. The tissue used in this procedure is called a "flap", and there are a handful of different flap surgeries available to you. One is called a Free Flap. This removes tissue from its original blood vessels and is moved to your chest. This type of flap procedure requires your plastic surgeon to be skilled in microsurgery, which allows the surgeon to attach the blood vessels from the tissue flap to the blood vessels in the chest at its new location. This allows the tissue to receive the correct amount of blood supply it needs to thrive. The tissue is then formed into the shape of a breast and is stitched into place.
Another choice is called a pedicled flap. This allows the tissue to remain attached to its original blood vessels and is moved under your skin to your chest. Once it is moved to your chest, it too is formed and stitched into place. The newly reconstructed breast will have little sensation as you find with implant surgery. One of the plus sides of a flap procedure is that the tissue used is from parts of the body that are similar to breast tissue and feels very natural.
This natural type of breast reconstruction has become very popular over the years because it usually lasts a lifetime. After 10 to 20 years implants need to be replaced. After your mastectomy, and before you make any decisions on breast reconstruction surgery, we want our patients to visit with us first before making any decision on what's next. You have time after your surgery to decide what's next for you, the decision does not need to be made right away.
Depending on where the flap tissue comes from, there are different names for each type. These are some examples.
Flap Tissue from your Belly
Flap Tissue from your Back
Flap Tissue from the HiP/Buttocks
Picking the best flap for you all depends on your body type, breast size, if you plan on getting pregnant in the future, guidance from your surgeon and doctor, and what hospitals and surgeons are available to you. This procedure and the process it takes to decide is unique to your body, your lifestyle, and what you want your life to be. We are here to help guide and support you through this decision. Please don't hesitate to explore our website to learn more or contact us for more information. Today, as always, we celebrate YOU!
The Breast Place is excited to announce its move to a new, larger North Charleston facility at 4975 Lacross Road, Suite 110, on July 2, 2018.
In addition to a more central location than its present North Charleston address - 2910 Tricom St, #201 - the new Lacross Road facility will see the addition of four exam rooms to allow for even faster, more comprehensive care. The facility continues to offer same-day appointments for patients who've received recent diagnoses or are simply concerned by a recent change in their breast health or abnormal mammogram.
"Our new location will allow even more women access to services for prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer," said Dr. Jennifer Beatty, who founded The Breast Place in October 2011. "Being independent and privately-owned, we are able to offer options tailored to the needs of each unique individual."
By: Mary Katherine Wildeman
As Mother's Day approached, Heather Toeppner bounced a grinning, healthy 9-month-old with clear blue eyes on a bench outside the Medical University of South Carolina.
They were an image of happiness and health. Toeppner's short cropped hair was the only sign that cancer had recently wracked her body.
Toeppner, 32, said she always liked to cultivate control and organization in her life. But her sense of order was toppled in 2017 when she was diagnosed with cancer, gave birth to a preemie, breast-fed her baby, underwent chemotherapy and radiation and struggled with postpartum depression, all within one year.
Now, two months after finishing her last round of radiation, she said she's had to learn to live in the present.
By: Jennifer Fiorini, MD
At The Breast Place, our focus extends beyond breast health. This month we launched The Breast Place Fitness Challenge to promote the prevention of both breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. More women die of cardiovascular disease than breast cancer. Even in women with breast cancer, dying from heart disease is a leading cause of death. This is partly because cardiovascular disease is ten times more common than breast cancer and because breast cancer has become more treatable.
Last month the American Heart Association published a statement on the relationship between breast cancer and heart disease. There are two main messages in their statement. First, that heart disease and breast cancer have many of the same risk factors and will often be found in the same patients. And second, that most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer will survive their cancer diagnosis. Because of this, health care professionals must keep in mind that long term survival depends on taking cardiac health into consideration in the quest to cure cancer.
Published by: Post and Courier
Breast cancer surgeons in North Charleston recently launched "a New Year's resolution reboot" to encourage women to get out and exercise.
"Exercise is taking a more prominent role in the treatment of breast cancer," said Dr. Jennifer Fiorini, co-owner of The Breast Place. "Cardiovascular exercise three times per week has been proven to reduce breast cancer risk."
Women are encouraged to follow Fiorini and fellow surgeon Dr. Jennifer Beatty on Instagram and Facebook as they undertake this fitness journey.
"We are working to improve the long-term survival rate," said Beatty, in a press release. "Our fitness challenge provides support and structure to help patients succeed in developing healthy habits. It's also a great way to encourage the community not to lose sight of their 2018 New Year's goals."
Published by: Moultrie News
On Feb. 15, The Breast Place is launching a New Year's resolution reboot to motivate women in Charleston to stay committed to living an active lifestyle. Follow Dr. Jennifer Beatty and Dr. Jennifer Fiorini, owners and breast cancer surgeons at The Breast Place, on Instagram and Facebook as they take to the beach, martial arts studio, and their very own practice for a seven-week fitness challenge that requires three 30 minute workouts per week.
"Exercise is taking a more prominent role in the treatment of breast cancer," said Dr. Fiorini. "Cardiovascular exercise three times per week has been proven to reduce breast cancer risk".
Published by: Moultrie News
Right in time for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, The Breast Place is celebrating six years of helping women navigate their breast cancer treatment. To date, The Breast Place has treated over 6,000 patients, a major milestone for the company.
Serving as the only female-founded breast health facility in the state of South Carolina, The Breast Place offers same-day appointments and services throughout Greater Charleston, including North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, and West Ashley.
"Women are often too busy working and taking care of their families to take immediate action when they detect abnormal tissue or a lump in their breast," said Dr. Jennifer Beatty, founder of The Breast Place. "Our goal is to make it easier for women to get access to quality treatment so they can take care of themselves as well."
Coinciding with the last week of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dr. Jennifer Beatty and Dr. Jennifer Fiorini, owners of and breast cancer surgeons at The Breast Place, will speak to groups throughout Charleston to generate awareness and educate women on the importance of being proactive with their breast care - offering much needed information on the best steps women can take before and after a diagnosis.
"We want women to know as much as about their treatment options as they do about early detection," said Dr. Fiorini. "The breast cancer death rate is on the decline but it's still the second-leading cause of cancer death. The more informed patients are, the more likely they are to act and increase their chances of survivorship."