Posts tagged ‘mastectomy’

BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR INFORMATION

Long-term issues for breast cancer survivors are often overlooked. Many breast cancer survivors encounter delayed side effects-such as heart problems, nerve damage, osteoporosis, and secondary cancers that can continue or emerge 10-15+ years after treatment ends, according to a survey by Cancer Support Community.

The survey-which was funded by Susan G. Komen for the Cure found that many survivors feel that social and emotional issues are some of the hardest side effects to handle. About 90% of survey respondents said they had at least one delayed physical, psychological or social issue that was moderate to severe. Fatigue, sexual dysfunction, and sleep issues were most frequently cited in the survey. Almost 25% of respondents said they experienced depression, which is about twice the national rate.

Although 96% of respondents said they wanted a survivorship plan, just 10% said they received such plans, which summarize the tests and treatments patients have received, side effects to expect, lifestyle changes to make, and where patients should seek follow-up care.

Many cancer centers have launched “survivorship” centers to address this issue, but about 85% of breast cancer patients are treated in community settings that do not have such resources, the Wall Street Journal reports. Beginning next year, the American College of Surgeons plans to require survivorship plans and distress screenings for facilities to receive accreditation.

Beck, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 11, 2011

October 19, 2011 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Prothesis, A Breast Cancer Resource

A breast cancer diagnosis may require surgery as a treatment option which can mean the loss of one or both breasts. Following a mastectomy or partial mastectomy, the need to make a decision for breast reconstruction and external breast prosthesis is an extremely personal one. Speaking with your physician and other breast cancer survivors can provide helpful information while making a decision. Women consider breast prosthesis, also known as breast forms for several reasons; to gain symmetry when wearing clothing, to protect surgical scars, to keep a bra from shifting under clothing, and to balance posture and shoulder weight. There are several types of breast forms including silicone, non-silicone, partial, attached, fabric and more. If you’re the crafty type homemade bosoms are also a prosthesis option as well. A “mastectomy bra” does not exist and breast prosthesis and bras are sold separately. One reason is that it would not be possible to wash a bra and prosthesis together. It is best to buy both at the same time so they can be fit together.

For those women who choose to get external breast prosthesis following a breast cancer surgery, there are several resources available to help obtain these forms. Private medical insurance, Medi-Cal and Medicare often may cover the cost.

Click here for a listing of resource referrals that provide assistance for getting breast forms.

If you have any questions regarding breast prosthesis or other cancer related questions, please contact me at Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line at 877-752-2120 or online at www.lacancerinfo.org . I’m here to help.

August 6, 2010 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment


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