Patients with extensive surgery are now being offered immediate reconstructive surgery. Here, either an artificial (saline-filled) prosthesis, or bag, or some of the patient’s own tissue, if available, is inserted in the chest wall when the breast is removed. This is the ideal situation for this type of surgery. Then the woman has the mental appreciation of still looking like a woman when she awakes from her major and traumatizing operation, a chest that looks fairly normal, and not too different from that of her contemporaries.
Other women have artificial prostheses made to wear as part of their everyday clothing (inserted inside the bra.) This also improves the appearance and self-esteem. When armpit glands are removed, swelling of the arm often becomes a problem later on, this is called lymphoedema. Medication is now available that helps remove this excess lymph fluid.
Cancer of the breast is a sinister, deadly disease. The earlier it is diagnosed, the greater are the chances for long-term survival. But this can occur only through constant vigilance by all women at all times, this is something you should never forget.