Posts tagged ‘Stupid Cancer Show’

Breast Reconstruction

Under certain circumstances, the treatment of breast cancer may require complete removal of the affected breast (a mastectomy), or rarely, both breasts (bilateral mastectomy). If a patient agrees to a mastectomy, she may choose to have breast reconstruction afterwards. This usually is performed by a specialist, a certified plastic surgeon, and sometimes involves more than one operation.

There are various options for breast reconstruction. One option is the placement of an implant. Implants are not permanent and sometimes only last about 10 years and then need to be replaced. If the decision is to have an implant, it is important to discuss with the plastic surgeon the type of implant most suitable for a patient’s particular anatomy, as well as the potential complications and duration of placement. Besides an implant, other options are available involving more complex types of breast reconstruction designed to produce a more “natural” look for certain patients. Abdominal flaps and similar techniques are usually offered to younger individuals who can handle the much more extensive surgery, and for the most part results in more natural-looking breasts. However, not all types of reconstruction are appropriate for everyone, and certain medical factors need to be taken into consideration with regard to recommending the specific type of procedure. Also, it may be advisable to obtain consultations with more than one plastic surgeon.

One of the most complete photo books showing reconstruction is “Reconstructing Aphrodite”.

Another great resource for helping cancer patients learn about their choices for breast reconstructive surgery is Living Beyond Breast Cancer, which has offered free scheduled educational teleconferences on the topic Breast Reconstruction: Understanding Your Options.

Additional websites for information on reconstruction are: , for young breast cancer patients wanting reconstruction. A daily blog about breast cancer research, resources, psychosocial issues, etc. , the National Breast Cancer Coalition website. Look at Position Papers to find information about reconstruction. ,Dr. Susan Love’s website showing some of the photos and stories from the book “Show Me”. Some of the techniques in that book are outdated but considered to be quite informative. ,a link with newer reconstruction techniques although not available everywhere and not everyone is a candidate.

And offering the “no reconstruction option”; checking out other options is always a good idea.

For additional referrals to information and resources regarding breast reconstruction please contact the social worker, at 877-RLC-2120, to get the help you need.


February 4, 2011 at 12:16 am 1 comment

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer occurring between the ages of 15 and 30 years is almost three times more common than cancer occurring during the first 15 years of life. Cancer survival rates for this age group used to be better than for older individuals, but during recent years the survival rates have leveled off and are not as good as they previously were. The majority of cases diagnosed in adolescents and young adults appear to be spontaneous and unrelated to either environmental carcinogens or hereditary cancer. Life as an adolescent or young adult is challenging enough; adding a cancer diagnosis only makes it more difficult to successfully conquer those challenges.

Young adults tend to spend a vast amount of time using the internet, social media and other electronic outlets. Cancer resources specific to young adults have not always been readily available but are being utilized with greater ease thanks to technology and the internet. This mode of communication is becoming a very useful mechanism to the 15-30 year old age group for finding the resources to help overcome the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis. A few resources listed below have harnessed the power of the internet, social media, and electronic outlets to speak to a younger generation of people about cancer and the effect it has on them.

Planet Cancer was founded by individuals in their twenties with cancer who wanted to fill the void in social services specifically required by this age group. Plant Cancer offers young adults affected by cancer a place to explore, discuss and cope with their cancer diagnosis, offering blogs, forums, community events like camping retreats and more. To learn more visit

I’m too Young for This Cancer Foundation was developed to ensure that every young adult affected by cancer is given access to the best age-appropriate support they are entitled to.. For more information about their programming services, including “The Stupid Cancer Show” broadcast online by young adults with cancer for young adults with cancer, visit

For information about local resources available in Los Angeles County for adolescents and young adults with cancer contact me at Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line at 877.752.2120 or at

Phyllis Ruja Tell, MSW
Social Work Manager
Ronnie Lippin Cancer Information and Resource Line
At Tower Cancer Research Foundation

July 9, 2010 at 12:50 am 1 comment

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