Hello, Warriors! How are you feeling? Thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit The Breast Place blog. Welcome! We cover a range of topics here, including breast cancer management, anti-aging skin treatments, and tips for overall health and wellness. The Breast Place is committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! While you’re here, be sure to check out our previous posts about the importance of genetic testing and male breast cancer!
Today, we’re discussing the intricacies of breast reconstruction. There’s a bunch of information available to those looking to undergo breast reconstruction. We wanted to make things easy and give you an in-depth look into the options available to you. We hope this makes your decision a bit easier!
Women who have undergone a double mastectomy (which includes the full removal of both breasts), a mastectomy (which includes the full removal of single breast), or a lumpectomy/segmental mastectomy (which includes the removal of a portion of the breast), often choose to also undertake a breast reconstruction. A breast reconstruction is a medical procedure which involves replacing the tissue which was removed during the mastectomy in order to alter the aesthetic appearance of breasts. According to studies conducted in 2016, 40% of women who underwent a mastectomy went on to have reconstruction surgery. In 2018, 101,600 women in the United States alone underwent breast reconstruction surgery, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Plastic Surgery Foundation.
Considering how many women undergo breast reconstruction every year, it’s astounding only 23% of women are knowledgeable about their breast reconstruction options. This is why the next section will be devoted to a comprehensive overview of the options available to women looking to undergo reconstruction.
There are two time-based factors which alter the type of surgery you’ll undergo. The first type of reconstruction is immediate reconstruction. An immediate reconstruction, as the name suggests, occurs immediately after a mastectomy. This type of reconstruction is more common, with three-fourths of reconstruction patients adhering to this type. The positive attributes of an immediate reconstruction include improved aesthetic results, heightened psychological well-being post-operation, and lower costs. Patients are able to mitigate a bit of the body dysphoria which can accompany a mastectomy, as well as lessen scarring, with this method. However, immediate reconstruction can be associated with more postoperative complications when postmastectomy radiation therapy is required.
The second type of reconstruction is delayed reconstruction. This type of breast reconstruction is done some time after the initial mastectomy and is much less common. The reason for this is because multiple surgeries mean further healing, multiple scars, and longer downtime. However, unlike immediate reconstruction, this type is not associated with higher risk of complications when combined postmastectomy radiation therapy. Therefore, this type might be recommended for breast cancer patients who still have a ways to go in their treatment, even after their mastectomy.
Underneath the broader umbrella of immediate and delayed, there are further types of breast reconstructions, which are differentiated by their chosen makeup. Implant-based reconstruction (IBR) is the first type and 81% of breast reconstructions consist of this type. Further, within IBR, there are two subsets: single-stage (or direct-to-implant placement) and two-stage. The single-stage IBR entails a single surgery, during which the chosen implant is the only implantation. While the two-stage IBR entails two surgeries, the first of which includes the placement of a tissue expander, and the second of which includes the placement of the permanent implant. Two-stage is actually the more common of the two subsets of IBR, with 68% of women receiving this type.
Beyond single-stage and two-stage, there’s also the choice between silicone or saline implants. Silicone implants are known to have a more natural appearance and feel, which results in greater levels of patient satisfaction. Thus, silicone implants are used in about 95% of breast reconstructions.
We’re still not done with IBR, because patients also need to consider the anatomic plane in which their implant will be placed. There are three planes in which the implant could reside: the total submuscular, the partial submuscular, and the prepectoral. Which anatomic plane you choose can affect the final appearance of the breasts after reconstruction and the risk of unintended side effects. Therefore, you should conduct plenty of research and ask your doctor about the implications of each plane.
While a total submuscular placement lends vascularized soft tissue coverage and does not require the additional placement of an ADM (discussed later), this plane limits the overall size of the implant and has a high rate of animation deformity. Animation deformity is characterized by a distortion of the reconstructed breast when in motion (such as when the major pectoralis muscle is contracted). Around 80% of breast reconstruction patients whose implants are placed on the total submuscular plane experience this deformity.
A partial submuscular placement with the additional use of an ADM reduces the risk of animation deformity. An ADM, or an adjunctive acellular dermal matrix, acts as a support system for the chosen implant. Whether derived from human sources (allografts), animal sources (zenographs), or synthetic materials, ADMs are scaffolding which serve to revascularize and integrate host cells into the newly placed tissue. ADMs can reduce the rate of capsular contracture and improve aesthetic definition, but also carry the risk of infection and seroma.
Prepectoral plane placement with the use of an ADM is the only IBR which does not carry the risk of animation deformity. As well, since this type does not require surgeons cut into the pectoralis muscle, this method is less painful overall. However, compared to the other types discussed above, there’s been little research done into its efficacy in terms of aesthetics or harmfulness.
Meanwhile, the other 19% of breast reconstructions outside of IBR consist of autologous reconstruction (AR). Autologous reconstructions utilize the patient’s own tissue for the reconstructive implant. Therefore, types of AR are differentiated by the anatomic region where the tissue flap is harvested. The most common source area is the deep inferior epigastric (DIEP), which consists of the skin and fat located along the lower abdomen. 52% of AR use this region. The second most common source area is the latissimus dorsi (LD), which is the broadest muscle along the side of your back. 22% of AR use this region. There are lower rates of usage among the transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM), which form the deep abdomen, and other regions. Depending on your comorbidities, past surgeries, and preferences prior to surgery, your doctor may recommend one harvest site over another.
Federal law dictates any insurance company which covers mastectomy must also cover breast reconstruction surgery, however you’ll still need to look into what exactly your insurance company will cover. Beyond this, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions. How well do you understand the entire breast reconstruction process, from pre-op preparation to recovery from multiple surgeries? Do you feel adequately prepared both mentally and physically to undergo this process? If you’re still currently undergoing treatment for cancer, how will breast reconstruction affect your treatment?
There’s a likelihood your breast reconstruction will not result in your breasts appearing as they did pre-mastectomy. In this event, will you be able to manage your resulting emotional response? It's better to ask yourself these questions in advance and be honest about your answers. If you have concerns about breast reconstruction, bring them up with your medical provider. With clarity and time, you may solidify your certainty about whether or not breast reconstruction is right for you.
A support system is crucial following any surgery, for emotional reasons as much as practical reasons. While you will probably need someone’s help during your recovery process, nothing is more helpful than a community in which you can discuss your journey. As we quoted above, more than one-hundred thousand women undergo this process every year. There are Facebook groups and online chat rooms where you can learn more about the process you’re about to undertake and ask women who have already undergone the process for their perspective. The value of community resources cannot be underestimated.
The Breast Place is dedicated to provide you with the options and support you need to make the best decision for your breast reconstruction. We offer natural reconstruction (i.e. AR) and impact reconstruction (i.e. IBR) services, as well as nipple-sparing mastectomy, breast lift and breast reduction. Breast reconstruction is about more than just aesthetics. It's about feeling your best in your body and taking the proper steps to do so. For a free consultation, reach out to us today. Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is five months away still, we try to educate and spread awareness as much as we can all year round. Today, we are going to be talking about self-breast examinations and everything you need to know about them!
Hello warriors, readers, patients, and friends! We are so glad you're joining us today for our first blog of May! It is a new season, a new spring, a new time in Charleston, and all of it comes with a new sense of hope and strength within it. We hope each of you reading this today feels that feeling with us, and we hope you know that no matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help and support you. First and foremost, we are here to help empower our amazing patients and to help them through their diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. This will never be a path you walk alone. We also offer many specialized services right here in our Charleston offices including abnormal breast imaging, family history and genetic testing, oncoplastic surgery, scar revision, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser hair removal, lactation, and much more. If you're looking for the premier breast specialists in Charleston, SC, you've found us!
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is still officially five months away, we try to honor it every day by spreading awareness, talking about the realities of breast cancer for women of all ages, and trying to use every opportunity we can to educate everyone we meet. Today, in honor of this idea, we are going to be talking about self-breast exams; what they are, the best way to go about giving yourself the best exam, and some common myths you might not know! For those new to The Breast Place, welcome! We are here to support you and your breasts at every stage of your life. We've mentioned this in past blogs, but self-breast exams can be one of the most successful first steps in preventing cancer and catching it in its early stages. Self-breast exams are important for women throughout their lives but can be extremely beneficial for younger women with very thick breast tissue. Having thick breast tissue can make it almost impossible for a mammogram to work on women younger than 40. In many situations, self-breast exams can be one of the only ways that cancer can be caught in women younger than 40, and can be an amazing lifesaver. At The Breast Place, we perform clinical breast exams, family history risk assessment, breast ultrasounds, biopsies including fine needle aspirations, and needle core biopsies in the office. However, sometimes your overall experience and reason why you find us at The Breast Palace can begin with a self-breast examination. Today, we will be focusing on self-breast exams so you can successfully carry out this life-saving procedure on yourself!
What Is A Self Breast Exam?
As it is stated in its name, a self-breast exam is an at-home self-inspection of your beasts to see if there are any changes or abnormalities that have appeared within your breasts. The best way to do a fully successful breast exam is to use both your eyes and hands to determine if there are any changes to the overall feel and look of your breasts. If you do see any changes, it is best to speak to your doctor right away. Please note that, according to the Mayo Clinic, that almost all changes found during a self-breast exam for your breasts appear due to benign causes. However, this never means that you should ignore any changes that might appear. It means you still need to share this information with your doctor and have them determine what should happen next. It is still possible that some changes may mean something serious, like breast cancer.
Why Should I Give Myself Self Breast Exams?
While breast cancer to this day is still considered something that is only found in women who have gone through menopause, we need to break that stigma! Giving yourself self-breast exams and understanding their importance can help with this! A self-exam or even just examining your breasts on your own can be a huge help with discovering cancer early. This can mean that if cancer is caught and treated earlier, it is more likely to be treated successfully! When self-exams are paired with regular physical exams, they can help make a huge impact on your life and safety. Also remember that giving yourself a breast exam costs you nothing but a little time, and that time is well worth spending on yourself!
How Do I Give Myself A Self Breast Examination?
Now that you know a little bit more about self-breast exams and why they are so important, it's time to understand how best to go about giving yourself a breast exam. This way they can be as efficient, effective, and successful as possible.
What To Expect From A Self Breast Exam
While reading about how to give yourself a self-breast exam may teach you how to do it, that doesn't mean you know exactly what to expect or what it might feel like. Here are a few more extra tips and pieces of insight that might make the whole process a little easier and help prepare you a little more.
Myths About Self Breast Exams & More
Just like we've debunked many different things on our blogs before, there are myths about self-breast exams and other related topics that need to be debunked too. The list below is full of myths to avoid and not worry about while going through your life and caring for your breasts. However, if you do have any questions or concerns even after reading this list and the whole blog, please do not hesitate to reach out and speak with us!
Warriors, fight your battles and be strong while doing so. You have the tools now to begin the battle and to keep yourself as prepared and ahead of the diagnosis as possible. Your health is in your hands, quite literally. Please take the time to dedicate a self-breast exam to your schedule every month. In the long run, it might be the biggest key in catching the first sign or stages of cancer that could appear in your body! Until next time, stay safe and be well out there. We understand life is challenging. We are here to listen, support, treat, and help make life a little easier.
Our skin is not only our largest organ, it's one of the most important things to care for throughout our entire lives. Sometimes what we can personally for our skin doesn't produce the results we want, nor do we have the power to fix certain things that our bodies do naturally. That's where The Breast Place can come in! With many of our treatments, your skin can look and feel as you desire! One of our most popular treatments is Cutera's Excel V+!
Hello readers, friends, warriors, and supporters! We are thrilled that you've found yourself at The Breast Place blog. We hope you're staying healthy and well, and just like everything else, taking it one day at a time! With the ongoing health threat of the pandemic and the winter blues that set in this time of year, it's hard to stay focused, on track, and on schedule. We hope you enjoyed our last blog discussing how you can nurture and care for your self-esteem and self-confidence as an adult and through the difficult challenges life puts us all through! This time of year makes many of our readers blue, which we understand! Keep the advice we discussed in our last blog close to heart for that reason, and to make every day a little easier.
One of the through lines of our last blog was that the treatments we offer in our offices help with several things that can affect our self-esteem like signs of aging, loose skin, stretch marks, difficult pockets of fat, wrinkles, scarring, body hair, rosacea, and scars left behind from acne. With our products from Enuron, tru Sculpt iD, Secret RF, body contouring, laser hair removal, and Excel V+, these issues can become issues of the past. Skin rejuvenation on the face is one of our most popular treatments. Secret RF is one of those treatments which we've already talked about in previous blogs. Today, we are going to be talking about Excel V+, our second option for facial rejuvenation!
Our skin rejuvenation services can help keep you looking young even after the effects of treatment, raising children, menopause, and getting through life's challenges. Laser resurfacing is used to address pigmentation issues like melasma and sunspots, and micro-needling with radiofrequency is used to help with the promotion of rebuilding your collagen with no downtime. This can be achieved with Secret RF. Laser resurfacing is the newest technology aiding in rejuvenation and antiaging. If you are concerned with fine lines, wrinkles, or redness like rosacea, our Cutera Excel V+ laser treatments are perfect for you! Paired with the best skin products for optimal results, we hope to empower you to look and feel your best at all times and through all stages of your life. According to Cutera, Excel V + delivers the power to safely treat challenging vascular and pigmentary conditions and today's most common skin concerns!
What's Excel V+ and What Does It Entail?
As we've talked about many times before, and what we understand ourselves, is that over the years our skin naturally takes a beating no matter how much we care for it. Excel V+ by Cutera is an incredibly safe laser technology that is very effective with treating excessive redness, enlarged pores, age spots, fine-line wrinkles, scars, and uneven skin texture. How does it work? Excel V+ delivers wavelengths to targeted areas and these wavelengths are absorbed by the chromophores in our bodies, which are the parts of a molecule responsible for its color (the redness and brown discoloring on our skin). They are also absorbed by melanin, oxyhemoglobin, and water, helping with fine lines and wrinkles.
During your treatments, areas on the body can be treated in as small as .5mm and as large as 1mm to ensure precise treatment and to help avoid any tissue damage to the skin that doesn't need treatment. These laser treatments work by stimulating collagen regrowth by heating the upper dermis, which lives way below your skin's surface. Dilated capillaries will receive additional heat to reduce the redness in your skin. Have no fear of this heat, however, because before, during, and after each pulse delivered to the treatment area, Excel V+ will deliver consistent contact cooling. This cooling temperature will be adjusted to your comfort levels. Another great perk? This is another wonderful non-surgical treatment that can be done without the use of topical anesthetic or gel! Higher energy levels will be used for larger spots and short pulses, with the most advanced wavelengths available, 532 nm.
After your treatments, the skin might look slightly red and your dark brown spots might look darker. This will only last a few hours or a few days. You can use makeup to cover up any redness through this period. You will begin to see results in one to three weeks. Redness will decrease, your complexion will improve, and dark spots will flake off and fade. It is recommended to avoid sun exposure after treatment. Excel V+ will help bring a youthful glow to your skin, smooth out your uneven skin texture, reduce your pore sizes, and much more. Each treatment will see more and more improved results and will build on previous improvements.
What Are the Benefits of Excel V+?
With all of our services and non-surgical services, there are so many benefits that come with each of them! First of all, you might be asking yourself if you're a good candidate for this procedure. If you're considering trying this service, here is a little food for thought. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 14 million people are living with rosacea, and 40% of the population suffers from pigment concerns. If you are wanting to help improve your skin, then it is right for you! What are some of the other benefits you will see and experience with Excel V+?
What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Laser Skin Treatments?
Excel V+ and all of our laser skin treatments offer incredible benefits, with little downtime and hardly if not any side effects. Each service is a great option to help you deal with unwanted issues weighing on your conscience and self-confidence! If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below, and always feel free to reach out to us! We look forward to seeing you soon, and we look forward to helping you make the very best out of 2021!
When you visit our website, one of the first things you'll notice is a button that says EMPOWER at the top of your screen. The idea behind the creation of The Breast Place was to help empower women who have been challenged by all aspects of life, to help boost their confidence, and to restore their sense of normalcy. Today, we are going to be talking about the importance and self restorative power of self-confidence as an adult.
Watching as your body changes over the years, seeing your body change due to cancer treatments and surgeries, and sitting in front of the mirror after a hard week can be incredibly difficult, make it hard to feel like yourself, and can be a blow to your self-confidence. It's no secret that every media outlet and our smart devices that we are glued to also add a decent amount of weight to our everyday moods, decisions, how we see ourselves, and how we feel about ourselves. As we grow older, it's hard to keep up with being your own hype woman and keeping your self-confidence up. As a woman-run and owned business, we understand that completely.
We opened this clinic as a way to empower women who have been challenged with various aspects of life and encourage them to find beauty in all things. We cherish our survivors and want them to feel loved, respected, and beautiful. We hope that by offering services like skin rejuvenation and scar revision that we can boost their confidence and restore their sense of normalcy in life. After challenging life events, we offer total wellness through skin resurfacing with the latest laser technology, dermal injections to subtly address fine lines and wrinkles, body contouring to tackle unwanted areas of fat with non-invasive treatment, and much more. These services include truSculpt iD, secret RF, excel V+, Botox, and products from Environ and Cutera to help with loose skin, stretch marks, and scars caused by acne. We are dedicated to helping you feel your best. Today, we want to talk about celebrating and nurturing your self-confidence!
What Is Wellness?
Wellness goes beyond waking up without a cold, having bad allergies, or a runny nose. Wellness goes into how your feeling mentally and emotionally, all of which can be helped by caring for yourself and taking advantage of all of our empowering services. According to the Global Institute of Wellness, it is defined as the active pursuit of activities, choices, and a lifestyle that leads to a state of holistic health. It is an active pursuit towards a healthy lifestyle and state of mind. It is also an individual pursuit. While it is important to surround yourself with supportive and loving people, you have to make these choices and accept what you need to achieve wellness on your own. Making that uphill climb will be worth the outcome. Wellness is also not a one-dimensional thing, it is a six-part dimensional way of thinking and living! It includes:
What are some of the ways you can work towards your overall wellness?
How do you nurture self-confidence?
Self-confidence is a difficult thing to maintain and have a healthy relationship with as an adult. However, it doesn't have to be something you are constantly fighting against. This is also hard for everyone, not just women. As you go through life, be gentle and kind with those you come in contact with, you don't know what they're going through. To nurture your self-confidence, you will have to put the work in yourself, and please don't rely on others to provide it for you. This is for you by you.
Being kind to yourself in the process of wellness, self-confidence, and empowerment can be the hardest battle. It's easy to make fun of and downplay the importance of each of these elements in your life, but there is nothing like permitting yourself to go after the wellness and self-confidence you deserve. We are here to help you start that journey and inspire you along the way. We believe in each of you and know that you deserve this kindness. If you have any questions about our services, empowerment, self-confidence, survivorship, or anything else, we are here for you! Dear readers, please know we are always here for you with your best interests at heart. Please stay safe, make smart decisions, and be kind to yourself in 2021!
While we offer so many different kinds of services for our warriors and anyone who comes into our offices, skincare and body care is a big part of what's important to us and what we give to our patients every day!
Hello to all of our warriors, friends, supporters, and readers! We are so thrilled you're back reading the blog and here to read more about the many different ways The Breast Place can make you feel better, look better, and how you can enjoy a little more out of your everyday life. In our last blog, we debunked some of the top myths about botox, and it got us thinking about all of the products, services, and merchandise we offer here at The Breast Place for all of our patients and patrons. It also got us thinking that we needed to remind all of our readers that everyone is welcome to come visit and work with us. Our offices aren't limited to a certain age group, and we are open to anyone who wants to make their bodies feel and look better. We are here for those incredible warriors who are fighting every day against that tyrant silent killer, breast cancer, and for those who are looking to support their body's natural health to make them feel better with a multitude of skin and body care. So, that inspired us to give a little blog overview on some of our many services and why they are both important and beneficial to those who get them!
2. Body Contouring
No matter how hard you work out, no matter how much you diet, and after going through some very big life changes like having a baby, your body will always decide what it wants to do with the fat in your body. Somehow, it always tends to stay in the places we hate the most, and no amount of push-ups, crunches, mountain climbers, or burpees can chase it away. After any life challenge or natural challenge, unwanted fat can hang around no matter how hard you work. In as little as 15 minutes per treatment, you can target those unwanted areas on your lunch break with no downtime and resume your daily activities right away! The muffin top, love handles, lower abdomen, and "bra-fat" can be treated with our non-invasive body contouring done in the office. Outside of these wonderful benefits, what are some other benefits that body contouring can give you?
You live your life to the fullest and through each trial and celebration that comes with it. While we all work hard to care for our skin and to let it age how we choose, our bodies and our skin makes those decisions. That's where facial rejuvenation comes into play. To keep you looking young even after the effects of treatment, raising children, menopause, or surviving life’s challenges, we now offer facial rejuvenation services, Botox/Dysport, and dermal fillers! Laser resurfacing is used to address pigmentation issues like melasma and sunspots, micro-needling with radiofrequency is to promote collagen rebuilding and with no downtime. Laser resurfacing is the newest technology aiding in rejuvenation and antiaging. If you are concerned with fine lines, wrinkles or redness like rosacea, our Cutera Excel V+ laser treatments are right for you. Paired with the best skin products for optimal results, we hope to empower you to look and feel your best at all times. Outside of all this incredible information, what are some more positive benefits of facial rejuvenation?
There you have it! An insider's look into just three of our many services and products. Can you believe the number of benefits that come from just these three services? There are so many wonderful reasons why these and all of our services are incredibly beneficial for all of our patrons, warriors, and friends that come to our offices! If you have any questions about these or any of our services, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to speak with you about the many ways we could help improve your life with one or all of our treatments. While this blog was dedicated to skincare and much more, we are still the best breast cancer center in Charleston! Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
While Breast Cancer is something that all of our warriors experience and fight for every day, October is an opportunity to spread this awareness on an even high level and open the world's eyes to what this disease really is.
Hello, warriors! Welcome back to the blog and welcome back to part two of our blog discussing what breast cancer awareness means to us. While we are rapidly approaching the end of October and the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope you know how incredibly proud we are of each of you. We know this year's difficult situation has prevented us from doing what we all normally like to do to spread awareness, raise money, and gather with our fellow fighters, supporters, and warriors. 2020 can't cancel our hope, our fight, our journey, or the color pink. We all continue to stand in solidarity together, continue to fight together, and support one another. We know this year might be weighing heavy on you and your family, but please believe us when we say that we understand and we are with you. Please continue on your journey, continue with your fight, and continue using your story to prepare and educate others. Your fight can be a light in the darkness for others and for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Have you been feeling at a loss this month, that you haven't found your voice in this battle, that you're not giving back enough or doing enough? Don't be discouraged. Your voice and everything you're doing every day speaks volumes. To help give our own bit of help and support for the rest of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, we wanted to create a blog on how to make everyday Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Your voice, your journey, and how you choose to handle and battle your diagnosis is a testament in itself. Even if you aren't particularly vocal or you don't share your experience in a blog or through social media, that doesn't mean your journey doesn't impact others. When you go in for your treatments, consider the people sitting around you. This could be their very first or very last treatment. A kind smile, sharing your experiences with them, or just being a positive presence within this little snapshot of time can cause a ripple effect to those battling around you. How youR battle progresses also doesn't go unnoticed by your doctor or nurses. They find comfort, inspiration, and drive from how hard you fight and in the relationship you build together.
Your journey and battle can bring you closer to your loved ones than ever before and can create a bond that you never expected. How you live in your survivorship and how you share your experiences with a new friend or coworker leaves an impression too. Don't think you have to shout from the rooftops and put yourself in the spotlight if you don't want to. Every step of your journey affects someone. If you want to be public about your experience, that is a welcomed expression too. Writing a blog, documenting your experiences on Facebook or Instagram, being a mentor to someone recently diagnosed, participating in group meetings, and more can also help others and raise awareness. No matter how you chose to share and express your experience, both are just as important and beneficial as the other.
There are many steps you and your loved ones can take to promote awareness throughout the entire year, here are some tips and suggestions to make that possible.
We know that your voice is important. Each of your individual stories is worth telling, saving, and sharing. We know that awareness and what we need to cure breast cancer isn't at the level that it deserves and what it should be. Every day we are fighting to make your voices louder, the cure closer, and helping to educate the world about this horrible disease. While so much of the world just sees Breast Cancer Awareness Month as pink ribbons and fundraisers, we see your stories, your pain, your frustrations, and all that you go through every day. Let us stand together to make Breast Cancer Awareness month more than just a month, and finally beat this disease once and for all.
Every day is breast cancer awareness month, but October is when we all turn pink. During this month, we celebrate those who have fought, those who have lost, and those who stand beside us. One day at a time, we are trying to save as many lives as possible!
Hello, warriors! As you know, October has dawned and brought in Breast Cancer Awareness month. We know this is a daily fight and battle for you and your loved ones, but October brings your reality into the light of the rest of the world. You finally get the attention you deserve, and you really get to share the truth about breast cancer and how truly devastating it is right in front of the eyes of the public. We wish breast cancer, the need for a cure, and the battle you all fight could get this kind of attention every day and every month. Since we only have one month, we are going to make the most of it. It's time to educate, spread the world, and share your truth. Remember that we see you, we support you, we hear you, and we will be here for you every step of your battle!
According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, 115 lives are lost to metastatic breast cancer every day, and 2 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. What's even more shocking than those numbers is the fact that each of these statistics is still a surprise to millions of people every day. It's still a shock that it is more common to be diagnosed with cancer before you turn 40 than most people realize, and it is still possible to be diagnosed with cancer during your pregnancy. While these are all topics we have touched on many times in our blogs, across our social media, and as much as we possibly can in our offices, it's still not enough. That is why we must continue to raise awareness every day.
This is the perfect time to use your voice and your story to educate others in realizing their chances of getting breast cancer and what signs they need to be looking for. Use your survivorship to spread the word about early education and to promote self-breast exams from a young age. While this is a battle that you wage every day, when October rolls around, it's time to turn that fight in a new direction. The world needs to hear your stories and your truth, and you deserve to be heard. October goes beyond wearing pink. We are finally getting the opportunity to fight publicly and with the public's attention. To all of our warriors, we are so sorry that you don't get this kind of support and attention every day, and every month, you deserve it. Your fight and the struggles your family goes through every day deserves to be more than a trending hashtag for 31 days that casually gets overlooked by Halloween. Let us join together to change this and continue to spread information out into the world together, and to finally cure this horrible and devastating disease!
While we are standing strong together spreading awareness and teaching about the importance of early detection, what else can we do this month and beyond to make the most out of breast cancer awareness month, outside of wearing our pink tags? Obviously, because of the current pandemic, this year might look a little different. We might not be able to gather like we have been used to. We might not be able to cheer each other on or walk for our loved ones in person or in big crowds, but that doesn't mean you can't make the most of this month and still support the future of the breast cancer cure. We have been doing our research and listening to all of you on how we can continue to support one another. One of the first resources we stumbled upon was Breast Cancer Now. This incredible foundation, set in the UK, will give you an incredible outside look at what the world is doing to help all of us achieve our common goal of curing breast cancer. They have an incredible social media presence and an incredible website. In years past, we might not have been able to attend some of their events, but the silver lining is that thanks to the wonders of the internet and needing to stay home for our safety - we can join together and be a stronger community than ever before. Make sure to visit their website by following the link below!
They also have two very important and inspiring ways of getting involved in your community that were so inspiring to us that we had to share. These fantastic ideas are all things that you can do right now here in the US and that will both be a wonderful addition to our fight this month and beyond. These events are all inspired by their "press play" platform, and we just think it's outstanding. So let's sit back and press play together!
Have you been feeling like you're not giving back enough, doing enough, or that you haven't found the right voice of action for your personal path? That's okay! This month we are going to continue to share more ideas on how all of our warriors and their loved ones can give back, keep fighting, and how to bring awareness into everyday life - and not just in October! Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
The Mysteries of Breast Pain
Sometimes your breasts can ache or hurt, and the cause behind them can be a multitude of strange and unknown reasons. We will be exploring all of this today!
Hello, warriors! Today we are going to be talking about breast pain. While we are on high alert to breast abnormalities and lumps that appear in the breast sometimes overnight, not all breast pain is caused by or linked to breast cancer. It is of course, very important to stay very aware of this pain, and if it continues. As we've mentioned before, any changes to your breasts need to be brought to your doctor's attention right away. They could be an early sign of something potentially very dangerous or something that has no explanation at all. Breast pain, technically called "mastodynia", often has no known cause. Your breast tissue is affected by many things like your hormones, your stress, infection, or illnesses elsewhere in the body, and your caffeine intake. Breast pain can be intermittent, sharp and shooting, dull and constant, or a burning sensation. While breast pain isn't necessarily a sign of breast cancer, it is a sign that something abnormal is going on.
Breast pain can be sharp, dull, constant, or intermittent. Breast pain can have a multitude of causes including but not limited to stress, caffeine intake, hormone imbalances, musculoskeletal trigger points, and abnormal changes to the breast tissue. There are several ways to investigate causes like lab work and imaging. If you are experiencing breast pain, contact us for a consultation to discuss potential causes and treatment options, and to have a clinical breast exam with a licensed provider. Here at TBP, a clinical breast exam, imaging, and lab work are often tools we use to find out what's causing that pain and what you can do to alleviate it. If you are experiencing breast pain, we are happy to see you in the office for an exam and work up. Today we are going to be expanding on what breast pain could and could not be, and diving more into mastodynia.
First and foremost, breast pain is common and something many women go through. It can be a consistent pain or it can only happen occasionally. One of the most common occurrences of breast pain is in the few days leading up to your period. This is a normal occurrence and this mild or moderate pain can appear in both breasts. According to Healthline, the fluctuating hormone levels that appear in your body during and leading up to your period are what's to blame. Your breasts can feel tender and even swell during these times. You will have a spike in your estrogen and progesterone production levels during your cycle. Estrogen will cause you breast ducts to enlarge and progesterone production will cause the milk glands to swell. Both of these reactions will cause soreness in your breasts. The pain can be felt throughout the month too, and have no connection to your period.
Breast pain can also occur during menopause. During the twelve months leading up to menopause, a woman is in a transitioning period called perimenopause. During perimenopause, your levels of estrogen and progesterone fluctuate. Although, these fluctuations are much more dramatic during perimenopause compared to your menstrual cycle, according to Medical News Today. The dull and sore ache that comes from the side effects of these fluctuations can escalate to more of a burning or throbbing. Once you do officially reach menopause, the pain should be finished, but your risk of breast cancer does increase. If you are experiencing strange pains, your doctor needs to be alerted right away.
Reasons Behind The Pain
There are also many other reasons why your breasts could be hurting.
Since breast pain is so common and is something many women will have to deal with, what are some ways to deal with the pain? Some of the best management steps are all linked to self-care.
Breast pain can be scary if you don't know what's going on. We hope this blog sheds some light on what you're going through, and we hope it calmed your nerves. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please feel free to reach out. Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
When dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, one of the first things you'll have to deal with head-on is what is true and what is false in the information available to you. Just like any medical diagnosis, you will come across myths and falsehoods that need to be debunked right away. Today we are going to be tackling the top three most common myths about breast cancer.
Hello, Warriors! We hope this blog finds you well and fighting hard. We hope you are keeping up the hope in yourself and your treatment. If no one has told you recently, you are incredible. You are getting up every day and facing every challenge head-on. With how this year has turned out, that is truly an amazing feat. We are constantly blown away by your journies, strength, and how you balance your everyday professional and personal lives while going through treatment and recovery. We are in awe of you and are inspired by you every day. Keep up the incredible work, we believe in you.
Out of everything that you've already been dealing with and what you're going through, one thing you should never have to deal with is incorrect information and myths. We are the biggest proponents of education and early detection, but we also want to eliminate any fear or misinformation due to old wives' tales or poor information that has turned into what seems like it could be true facts. To deal with this, we want to discuss and debunk some of the most common myths about breast cancer.
Myth #1: If I don't have breast cancer in my family history I won't get it; If I do have breast cancer in my family I will get it.
We wanted to roll this into one myth because to a point both myths are incorrect. It is true that if your family's medical history does include breast cancer you will be at a higher risk, but this doesn't mean you will for sure get breast cancer. According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, only about 13% of women who have breast cancer had a direct relative who was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Also, please be aware that even if breast cancer hasn't been in your family history, this does not mean you won't get it. Breast cancer will appear when it wants to and can happen to anyone at any age. According to BreastCancer.org, most people who do get breast cancer have no family history of it at all, which means other factors besides heredity are most likely the cause. These other factors could be your environment or your lifestyle.
Myth #2 Wearing a bra with an underwire, wearing deodorant, carrying a cellphone in your bra, or using a cell phone can all cause breast cancer.
Please remain calm, if you do any or all of these things, there is nothing to worry about. Keep wearing a bra if you want, use it as a handy pocket for your phone when you need to, put on your deodorant in the morning, and keep up with your nighttime scrolls. None of these statements have actual scientific proof that links them to causing breast cancer. Although, some are still being studied to see if there is a link that could have been overlooked. According to the Susan G. Koman foundation, there are certain chemicals found in certain antiperspirants and deodorants that, "can enter the skin and cause changes that could lead to cancer". Even with that knowledge, there is still no direct link between the two. There is also no direct link between how you use or carry your cell phone that links either activity to breast cancer. There is also no increased risk of getting breast cancer connected to using your phone for long periods.
Myth #3: When you have breast cancer, a lump always forms so you know it's there.
This is very untrue. While discovering a lump can indeed be a sign of breast cancer, our last blog should be proof enough that one lump does not automatically mean you have breast cancer. Actually, most lumps are not connected to breast cancer at all. Sometimes there are no warning signs, while some are slight or drastic physical changes that you can see. Some cancers don't form a lump at all. Any change to the breast that is abnormal for your body could potentially be a sign of the early stages of cancer. When you do notice something, your doctor needs to be alerted right away!
It's easy to get caught up in everything you hear when you're dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis. You want to have something to blame for what you're going through, you want to justify why you have it, and to know what caused it in the first place. Sometimes these answers won't be easy ones to find if you can even find them at all. Do your research, talk to your care team, and try to avoid anyone who thinks they've heard something to share with you. Leave the myths at the door! Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
Early detection is extremely important. During your self-breast exams, you might find a lump or mass that may or may not be cancer. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Hello warriors! We hope this blog finds you happy and well. We've talked about the importance of early detection in almost every blog, eblast, and social media post we've ever made. We can't stress enough just how important they are. With our last few blogs discussing the realities of breast cancer appearing in younger generations more often than many people realize, self-exams continue to become more and more important. When you're young, your breast tissue is denser and harder to penetrate and locate anything out of the ordinary in a mammogram. This makes your self-exams so important. You know when something doesn't feel right on your body or has seemed to appear overnight, and you will know and notice better than anyone else. Bringing these changes to your doctor's attention is crucial, but sometimes these aren't always lumps that are connected to cancer. It is so easy to get wrapped up and scared, constantly asking yourself "is this cancer, or is this something else?". This is why it is so important to understand what the different lumps and masses are that could appear inside and around your breast.
First of all, you need to know a little bit more about the breast tissue and the breast itself. The breast tissue is made up of adipose (fat) tissue, lobules, and ducts. There is a chain of lymph nodes known as the intramammary lymph nodes that run within the breast tissue as well. There are many benign masses like cysts, fibroadenomas, abscesses, and fat necrosis that occurs in the breast. Some should be removed by a breast surgeon and some are fine to let be as long as they don't grow or become painful - always make that decision with a trained surgeon. The density of your breast tissue can also affect how these lumps are to be felt or palpitated. As you age, your breast tissue becomes replaced with fatty tissue that is not as dense, making visualizing these abnormalities on mammograms easier. Some benign masses can increase your risk for breast cancer so even though they are benign, it;s important to notify your provider of any changes. When in doubt, get it checked out!
[Breast cancer lumps]
Let's start with the more dangerous lumps and bumps on this list before we talk about the more benign things you might be feeling. According to Stony Brook Cancer Center, most of the breast lumps you'll be feeling will be benign, won't be cancerous, and most won't have to be removed. If they are, this won't affect the breast's natural function.
The early signs of breast cancer are different for every woman. According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, the most common warning signs of cancer in its earliest stages are nipple discharge, a change in how your nipple looks or feels, or a change in how your breast looks or feels. If you have these symptoms, please notify your doctor.
Breasts themselves have a lumpy texture. Not every unique lump that you feel is a tumor or lump that needs attention, but a part of your natural breast makeup. The lumps that should catch your attention are those that feel different from the rest of your breast tissue, ones that feel hard, and ones that have suddenly appeared.
According to Stony Brook Cancer Center, these lumps or thickenings will appear most often in the top part of the outer breast and into the armpit. The tissue is thicker there than anywhere else on your breast. According to VeryWellHealth, some other warning signs include these hard bumps not moving during your self-examination and that your breast might feel like it has a very pebbly surface. There are a few precancerous lumps that also need strict attention and should be removed right away.
[Benign lumps and masses]
There are many different types of benign masses that you might come across in your lifetime. As we've mentioned, many of them are not dangerous and you might not have to have them removed at all. You should still be aware of what you're feeling.
Knowing your breasts and the lumps and bumps inside them are very important. Being educated on what you're feeling can calm your fears and worries, and help you to action rather than panic. If you have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to reach out. We would rather look and find something benign than being kept in the dark about something serious.
Did you know we will donate $1 for every unit of Botox administered to breast cancer patients and research? We are partnering with various organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Hope Lodge and *soon* Share Our Suzy Lowcountry to give back to the breast cancer community. Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!