Breast Reconstruction in Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients
Posted May 21 2009 11:20pm
Traditional medical opinion states that women with metastatic breast cancer are not candidates for breast reconstruction . Once metastases are diagnosed (stage 4 breast cancer), attention turns solely to aggressive medical treatment to prolong life. Breast reconstruction is no longer discussed as an option.
At least that was the consensus up until fairly recently.
Opinions have started to change over the last few years.
While we are still losing the battle with stage 4 breast cancer and most women will die from their disease, who are we to decide that these women should not be made "whole"? Why should any women interested in breast reconstruction die breastless?
As long as patients interested in reconstruction are medically stable and passed "fit for surgery", the psycho-social and quality of life benefits that breast reconstruction can provide should not be ignored. While the priority must always remain "life over breast", breast reconstruction should be discussed with patients regardless of the stage of the disease.