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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer


Our Voices Blog

SurgeryGuide: Helping you understand your surgical options

We all know how integral surgery is for the treatment of breast cancer. It’s usually the first step in treating early stages of the disease which means it can come quickly after diagnosis. The time when you’re still processing your diagnosis is also the time when you’re making some of the most important decisions about your treatment. Trying to make these decisions while learning this new, complicated language called cancer doesn’t make those decisions any easier.

We often hear from patients how traumatic a diagnosis can be and how confused they were about their treatment options. “Is a lumpectomy or mastectomy the best option for me?”; “If I have a double mastectomy, will I have a better chance of surviving?”; “What happens after? Is reconstruction the only option?”. These, along with many questions about reconstruction choices, are decisions that so many women have to make quickly after a breast cancer diagnosis. And some women, aren’t necessarily aware that they even have options to choose from.

This is why we created the SurgeryGuide. SurgeryGuide is an online decision aid designed to help you understand your surgical treatment options in a language you can understand. We start by explaining the difference between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy and the pros and cons of each. Then we move on to your options after surgery. From lipofilling to partial prosthetics after a lumpectomy to living flat, with prosthetics or reconstruction after a mastectomy. We’ve also detailed the available implant and autologous reconstruction options along with images to help explain how they work. Finally, we share real-life stories from women who have gone through these very same decisions, so you have a personal understanding of what it’s like.

These decisions are tough, but we’re here to help you understand your options.

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