What Happens After Breast Cancer? South Carolina Plastic Surgeon Discusses Breast Reconstruction

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October is breast cancer awareness month, prompting Charleston, SC plastic surgeon Dr. Ram Kalus to not only discuss the importance of early diagnosis with his patients, but also what can be done once they beat a disease that will affect 1 in 8 women in the U. S.

plastic, surgeon, surgery, breast, reconstruction, charleston, sc

South Carolina Plastic Surgeon Discusses Breast Reconstruction after Cancer

Facing the diagnosis of breast cancer can be one of the most challenging and emotionally difficult times in a woman’s life, regardless of her age. Permanent disfigurement does not have to be part of that battle.

Over 200,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U. S. [1] According to statistics from breastcancer.org, 1 in 8 women in the U. S. will develop this disease over the course of her lifetime. [2] Ahead of breast cancer awareness month, Dr. Ram Kalus, a board certified plastic surgeon in South Carolina, says each October he focuses on breast cancer education to ensure his patients are not only aware of the need for self-examinations to ensure early detection of the disease, but are also aware of their options as they consider breast reconstruction in Charleston, SC.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) urges women to be proactive when it comes to their health by following an early detection plan. Such a plan includes routine breast self-exams, along with clinical breast exams and mammograms depending on age and health history. According to the NBCF, forming an early detection plan increases the chances for diagnosing breast cancer in its early stages before it has a chance to spread to other parts of the body, which greatly improves the 5-year survival rate.

When a women is diagnosed with breast cancer, there are a number of choices to make once the initial shock of the diagnosis wanes. Dr. Kalus says nationalbreastcancer.org, and BeyondTheShock.com are both invaluable resources for women and loved ones that have been affected by the disease. However, he admits that one topic not commonly discussed is the aftermath of a woman’s battle with cancer, and the impact it can have on her sense of femininity.

Dr. Kalus says including a reconstructive plastic surgeon in the discussion as a treatment plan is developed for breast reconstruction can alleviate certain anxieties women may experience concerning the aesthetic impact of a procedure such as a mastectomy, thus allowing them to focus entirely on the healing process. “Facing the diagnosis of breast cancer can be one of the most challenging and emotionally difficult times in a woman’s life, regardless of her age. Permanent disfigurement does not have to be part of that battle. Breast reconstruction techniques today can potentially leave a woman appearing virtually normal, as if she never even had surgery. Being empowered with accurate and current information about treatment options is the first step in overcoming the emotional challenge of the diagnosis, and in defeating breast cancer itself.”

About Ram Kalus, MD, FACS

Dr. Ram Kalus earned his medical degree from Boston University. He then completed general surgery training, and his plastic surgery residencies at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical Center among others. Dr. Kalus has written a number of medically-based articles, including one focused on breast reconstruction, titled “Rebuilding the Body and Self-Confidence.” He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Kalus is also recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics for his dedication to pediatric plastic surgery and advocacy for children.

Plastic Surgery of the Carolinas is located at 578 Lone Tree Drive, Suite 102, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464. The practice can be reached at (843) 881-3881, or found online at plasticsurgerycarolina.com or facebook.com/plasticsurgerycarolina.

[1] Early Detection Plan. National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. Retrieved from nationalbreastcancer.org/edp/ on 9/29/2011
[2] U. S. Breast Cancer Statistics. BreastCancer.org. Retrieved from breastcancer.org/symptoms/understand_bc/statistics.jsp on 9/29/2011

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