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The Cancer Fighter: First a mastectomy…then what?

By Julia Oyefunke Fortune

Another issue that commonly arises after mastectomies is reconstructive breast surgery. Not only are mastectomies physically devastating procedures, the emotional trauma they cause can be unbearable and even pose a huge psychological barrier to recovery.

So, it is not uncommon for women to jump at the opportunity to have reconstructive surgery as soon as possible after the mastectomy.

While this option certainly gives hope to women who have been subjected to breast removal that can cause feelings of humiliation and even shame, many studies now show there are numerous risks associated with the implants used in typical breast reconstruction procedures.

Silicone breast implants were banned in the 1990s after being associated with siliconosis – a situation in which silicone leaks from the implant and poisons the body causing symptoms such as fainting, extreme fatigue, muscle and body aches, fever, rashes, forgetfulness, loss of vision, and an array of autoimmune and connective-tissue diseases.

Even more startling is the possibility that of the women who receive these silicone implants, eighty percent, who have had these implants for ten to fi fteen years, will experience at least one rupture and another 21 percent will have an implant shift to another part of the body as was anecdotally reported.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the potential dangers of silicone implants, the fourteen-year moratorium on traditional silicone implants was lifted in November 2007, now making them an option for women over twenty-one, as well as all breast reconstruction and revision patients.

Although the silicone implants used today are supposedly redesigned to prevent leakage, they are still silicone and they may still have irreparable and devastating repercussions.

And while the majority of surgeons use saline, a theoretically safer alternative to silicone, the truth is, both types of implants often still may use silicone to envelope the actual implanted material.

Finally, a saline implant is a foreign substance to the body – more foreign than cancer – and can cause specifi c bacterial infections no matter what surgical sanitary precautions are taken. It is important to remember that no matter how simple or complex a surgery is, it still creates havoc within your nervous system.

All surgery requires some form of anesthetic and post-operative drugs which can dramatically aff ect the liver’s ability to heal and protect the body against cancer. Stay healthy and do not forget to write. All correspondence to julifortune@hotmail.com.


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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.