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Breast Reconstruction News

New York Breast Reconstruction Alliance Joins American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Recording Artist Jewel to Close Loop on Breast Cancer

August 15, 2012 -- the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) announced their partnership with New York Breast Reconstruction Alliance (nyBRA) in support of the first national Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day USA, October 17, 2012. As a sponsor, nyBRA joins the world's largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons, and BRA Day national spokesperson Jewel, in the campaign to support breast cancer survivors' right to be informed and choose whether breast reconstruction following mastectomy is right for them... Read whole story

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Jewel teams with ASPS to educate, empower women in need of breast reconstruction

August 3, 2012 -- Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Jewel will perform a benefit concert on Oct. 29 during Plastic Surgery The Meeting in New Orleans with proceeds donated to The Plastic Surgery Foundation and several breast reconstruction organizations. The event is part of a new partnership between Jewel and ASPS, in which the performer will also serve as the national spokesperson for the inaugural National Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day on Oct. 17... Read whole story

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Breast Cancer Patient Education Act of 2012

July 15, 2012 -- To amend the Public Health Service Act to raise awareness of, and to educate breast cancer patients anticipating surgery regarding, the availability and coverage of breast reconstruction, prostheses, and other options.... Read whole story

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Breast Cancer Patient Education Act introduced in House

June 11, 2012 -- Bipartisan legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on June 8 would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to plan and implement an education campaign aimed at informing mastectomy patients of breast reconstruction availability and coverage, and of prostheses and other replacement options... Read whole story

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Benefits of Stem Cell Breast Reconstruction

December 15, 2011 -- Our fat tissue contains a lot more than just fat. It’s been known for many years that the fat that makes our jeans tight and skin loose contains large numbers of small cells with the potential to grow into many types of the tissue and play a central role in healing and regeneration. Only recently though have doctors been able to apply these exciting laboratory findings to help patients in clinical practice... Read whole story

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Stem Cell Breast Reconstruction: Understanding the Issues

December 15, 2011 -- Stem cells have captured the imagination of the American public and offer great promise for new therapies in many areas of medical practice. In particular, the efforts to establish better therapies for breast reconstruction will improve the lives of cancer survivors and help restore a woman’s body to the natural form after cancer surgery... Read whole story

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After Mastectomy, Breast Reconstruction Is Safe for Older Women

December 13, 2011 -- Breast reconstruction is safe for older breast cancer patients who've had a mastectomy, according to a new study.

Mastectomy is surgical removal of the breast.

"The removal of a breast has implications for the psychological, social and sexual well-being of the patient, establishing the need that reconstruction should be offered," Dr. Marissa Howard-McNatt, an assistant professor of surgery at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, S.C., said in a center news release. "However, little is known about rates of reconstruction in elderly women after breast cancer... Read whole story

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Many Women Don't Get Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

December 8, 2011 -- Despite the psychological and cosmetic benefits, fewer than 1 in 4 women with insurance have breast reconstruction immediately after having a mastectomy to treat their breast cancer.

Women who are on Medicare or Medicaid, who are older, who are black, and who are treated at rural or non-teaching hospitals are even less likely to have immediate reconstructive surgery. Research has shown that breast reconstruction improves patients' psychological and sexual well-being... Read whole story

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Fat Injections: Safe for Breast Reconstruction After Cancer?

July 30, 2011 -- Fat injections to contour the breasts after breast cancer surgery, known as lipofilling, appear safe, according to a new study.

But the researchers add strong caveats to that conclusion.

"After breast cancer treatment, the patient has to be followed more carefully," says study researcher Jean Yves Petit, MD, of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy. A surgeon experienced in the technique must do the surgery, he tells WebMD... Read whole story

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Update on the Safety of Silicone Gel-Filled Breast Implants (2011)

June 23, 2011 -- Breast implants are medical devices that are used to augment breast size or to reconstruct the breast following mastectomy or to correct a congenital abnormality. Breast implants consist of a silicone outer shell and a filler (most commonly silicone gel or saline). Approximately 5 to10 million women worldwide have breast implants.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons National Clearinghouse of Plastic Surgery Procedural Statistics, there were 296,203 breast augmentation procedures and 93,083 breast reconstruction procedures performed in the United States in 2010. Approximately half the procedures used saline-filled implants and half used silicone gel-filled implants. Figure 1 shows a photograph of woman holding a breast implant... Read whole story

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FDA Medical Device Safety Communication: Reports of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL) in Women with Breast Implants

January 27, 2011 -- The FDA is exploring a possible link between breast implants and ALCL. ALCL is a rare cancer of the immune system, which can occur anywhere in the body. According to the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program1 of the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1 in 500,000 women per year in the U.S. is diagnosed with ALCL. ALCL in the breast is even more rare; approximately 3 in 100 million women per year in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALCL in the breast... Read whole story

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Dramatic Rise Seen in Bilateral Mastectomy for Breast Cancer

November 9, 2010 -- A recent analysis shows a dramatic increase in bilateral mastectomy among women with cancer in one breast, despite evidence that it prolongs survival. Findings from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) show that opting to have both breast removed has become an increasingly popular option, especially for young insured women with breast cancer with disease in one breast... Read whole story

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Study Says Mammography Accounts for about One-Third of Reduction in Deaths from Breast Cancer from Screening Programs

September 30, 2010 -- A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine finds the availability of screening mammography was associated with a reduction in the rate of death from breast cancer, but the screening itself accounted for only about a third of the total reduction in breast cancer mortality. Most of the reduction, the authors claim, was due to improvements in treatment and faster response to symptoms. Researchers analyzed data from 40,075 women with breast cancer in Norway. They conclude that the difference in the reduction in mortality between the current and historical groups that could be attributed to screening alone was 2.4 deaths per 100,000 person-years, or a third of the total reduction of 7.2 deaths per 100,00 person-years... Read whole story

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Mammograms’ Value in Cancer Fight at Issue

September 30, 2010 -- A new study suggests that increased awareness and improved treatments rather than mammograms are the main force in reducing the breast cancer death rate.

Starting in their 40s or 50s, most women in this country faithfully get a mammogram every year, as recommended by health officials. But the study suggests that the decision about whether to have the screening test may now be a close call... Read whole story

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Mammogram Benefit Seen for Women in Their 40s

September 30, 2010 -- Researchers reported Wednesday that mammograms can cut the breast cancer death rate by 26 percent for women in their 40s. But their results were greeted with skepticism by some experts who say they may have overestimated the benefit.

The study’s authors include Dr. Stephen Duffy, an epidemiologist at the University of London, and Dr. Laszlo Tabar, professor of radiology at the University of Uppsala School of Medicine in Sweden, who have long been advocates of mammography screening. Their paper is published online in the journal Cancer and will be presented on Friday at a meeting sponsored by the American Society for Clinical Oncology and five other organizations... Read whole story

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New York passes law mandating disclosure of breast reconstruction options

September 03, 2010 -- Breast cancer patients in New York will benefit from a new law signed by Gov. David Paterson on Aug. 15 that requires hospitals and doctors in that state to discuss options for breast reconstruction with patients before performing surgery.

An article printed Aug. 18 in The New York Times credits ASPS Candidate for Membership Evan Garfein, MD, Bronx, N.Y., as a driving force behind getting the law passed... Read whole story

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In Patent Fight, Nature, 1; Company, 0

April 4, 2010 -- For years, women have gone to a genetics clinic at Columbia University, stuck out their arms and watched their blood fill glass tubes.

In the tube is a map of their past — the DNA passed down thousands of generations — and a glimpse of their future.

You might think they would have first claim on the intimate narratives of their own genetic codes... Read whole story

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U.S. Judge Rejects Breast Cancer Gene Patents

April 4, 2010 -- The most controversial patents in biotechnology—covering breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2—were declared invalid yesterday by a U.S. district court. Judge Robert Sweet, of the federal court in New York City, rejected the BRCA patents in a 156-page opinion that sides with advocacy groups and medical organizations that sought to have the patents tossed out. Among other points, the opponents argued that human genes are a product of nature, and for that reason cannot be patented. The judge didn't buy all of the logic, but did agree to scrap the patents. The company that lost the case, Myriad Genetics of Salt Lake City, immediately declared that it will appeal the judge's decision... Read whole story

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Breast Reconstruction: A Woman’s Choice

November 20, 2009 -- Breast reconstruction surgeon, researcher, and author Dr. Ron Israeli, who practices in Long Island, New York, talks with Post editors about treatment options and the importance of coordinating cancer care.

When to consider?

Q: A new diagnosis of breast cancer is overwhelming. At what point should women explore their reconstructive options... Read whole story

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Sen. Coburn Falsely Stated Senate Bill Would Tax Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction

November 19, 2009 -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) falsely claimed the Senate Democratic health care reform bill would tax post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery. In reality, the bill specifically exempts cosmetic surgery "necessary to ameliorate a deformity arising from, or directly related to, a congenital abnormality, a personal injury resulting from an accident or trauma, or disfiguring disease..." Read whole story

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Will Stem Cells Help Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Breasts?

November 17, 2009 -- The prospect of a woman regrowing her own breast tissue following a mastectomy may be a welcome one, but some experts say initial reports on new trials underway to do that with stem cells in the U.K. and Australia have presented an overly rosy outlook.

British, Australian and American news outlets reported last week that groups in Melbourne and London had begun trials to use fat stem cells, derived from fat tissue from a patient's body, to rebuild a woman's breast following surgery. But while some predicted that the treatment would be available within a few years, that estimate ignores many of the safety concerns that accompany this type of research.... Read whole story

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Immediate postmastectomy reconstruction tied to better breast cancer survival

November 11, 2009 -- Immediate reconstruction following mastectomy is associated with a 26% reduction in breast cancer-specific mortality, according to a report in the October 15th issue of Cancer.

"Although the results of our study are interesting, it must be remembered that an association between postmastectomy reconstruction and improved survival doesn't mean causation," Dr. Michael Bezuhly from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada told Reuters Health... Read whole story

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Breast cancer patients advised to consider options

October 30, 2009 -- Less than an hour before her mastectomy was scheduled to begin, Eve Wallinga's surgeon gave her the bad news: Because of unforeseen complications, doctors wouldn't be able to reconstruct a new breast for her immediately after removing her cancerous breast as planned. She was told she'd have to wait another day for the plastic surgery... Read whole story

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More women choose contralateral prophylactic mastectomy

October 7, 2009 -- The number of women with cancer in one breast who opt to have the other breast preventively removed — known as a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy — more than doubled from 1995 through 2005 in New York state, according to a study published in the journal Cancer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

There is no evidence that having a preventive mastectomy improves survival, according to lead author Stephen Edge, a professor of surgery and oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Edge said, “We are not making a value judgment that this is good or bad.” He added, “But it’s an important trend. The concern is that we have women doing this out of a gut reaction” without sufficient counseling about risk... Read whole story

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Breast reconstruction varies by race, U-M study finds

October 5, 2009 -- Latinas who spoke little English were less likely to undergo reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy for breast cancer, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The study compared breast reconstruction among white women, African-American women, Latina women who were highly acculturated and Latina women who were less acculturated. Acculturation is a measure of how much a person is integrated into American society. For Latinas, a significant factor is whether they speak primarily English or Spanish... Read whole story

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More Women Are Choosing Mastectomies at Mayo Clinic

July 28, 2009 -- More women have been having mastectomies to treat early stage breast cancer at the Mayo Clinic since 2004 than during the previous 6 years, according to an analysis of surgeries done at the clinic between 1997 and 2006. While the reasons for the apparent shift are not known, the rise in mastectomy rates marks a reversal—radical surgery to remove the breast had been in decline in the United States, and at the clinic.

The findings, published online July 27 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, appear at a time when many in the field are wondering about the role of mastectomy in this disease... Read whole story

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Are Breast Cancer Patients Being Kept In The Dark?

July 8, 2009 -- Despite the increase of breast reconstruction procedures performed in 2008, nearly 70 percent of women who are eligible for the procedure are not informed of the reconstructive options available to them, according to a recently published report.

Newly released statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) shows there were more than 79,000 breast reconstruction procedures performed in 2008 – a 39 percent increase over 2007... Read whole story

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Reconstruction Do-Overs

June 17, 2009 -- Breast reconstruction has given women the option to replace a breast that has been removed because of cancer. But reconstruction techniques, like most medical procedures, have improved through the years for those who, for a variety of reasons, must have their old reconstruction redone.

In 1986, I chose to have my right breast reconstructed after undergoing a modified radical mastectomy with axillary node dissection at age 37. Since I faced four months of chemotherapy for stage 2 breast cancer, my surgeon suggested I not have immediate reconstruction at the time of surgery but wait a year to allow myself to finish treatment and be ready emotionally and physically to have the reconstruction.... Read whole story

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Test leads women to have preventive surgery

June 09, 2009 -- They were only in their late 30s, but Amy Cosgriff and Rhonda Milligan decided to have their ovaries removed a few months ago. Milligan also elected to get rid of both breasts.

These two healthy, cancer-free women — good friends and former classmates at Petersburg PORTA High School — willingly entered a world most women don’t face until menopause. They have hot flashes without warning. They are more likely to have osteoporosis and heart disease in middle age... Read whole story

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Family history can trump breast cancer gene test

November 17, 2008 -- If breast cancer runs in the family, women can be at high risk even if they test free of the disease's most common gene mutations, sobering new research shows. The genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are linked with particularly aggressive hereditary breast cancer, and an increased risk of ovarian cancer, too.

When a breast cancer patient is found to carry one of those gene mutations, her relatives tend to breathe a sigh of relief if they test gene-free... Read whole story

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Breast reconstruction can have lasting benefits

Jul 4, 2008 -- Breast reconstruction after cancer surgery can have lasting benefits for women's psychological well-being and body image, a new study suggests.

Research has shown that for women who have a mastectomy to treat breast cancer, reconstructive surgery can provide a psychological lift, helping to improve self-esteem and body image... Read whole story

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President Bush Signs Landmark Genetic Nondiscrimination Information Act Into Law

May 22, 2008 -- U.S. President George W. Bush signed into law May 21 the first civil rights legislation of the new millennium, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). GINA is the first and only federal legislation that will provide protections against discrimination based on an individual’s genetic information in health insurance coverage and employment settings.


“This is a tremendous victory for every American not born with perfect genes – which means it’s a victory for every single one us,” said Representative Louise Slaughter... Read whole story

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Some women not told about breast reconstruction

May 2, 2008 -- Doctors don't universally discuss the option of breast reconstruction with all women undergoing mastectomy, results of a new study confirm.

Doctors are most apt to have these conversations with younger, more educated white women, than with older, less educated, Hispanic women, Dr. Caprice C. Greenberg, from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues found. Prior studies have shown that women who are not privy to these conversations are less likely to undergo breast reconstruction... Read whole story

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Breast Reconstruction Studies:

Genetic Testing - Oct 2007

AlloDerm® in Breast Reconstruction - Sept 2007

Silicone Implant Safety - Nov 2006