Close on the heels of the surgical community settling on a less aggressive and distorting breast operation for the treatment of breast cancer, a new development emerged in the surgical handling of lymph nodes in the axilla.
Slowly and painfully throughout the 1980s we came to believe that breast cancer could be treated without removing the breast and with no compromise in the likelihood of survival. Cancer care and cosmetic considerations could exist together, triumphantly.
OCTOBER 19: CELEBRITIES UNLEASHED Hardly a month goes by without a celebrity or public figure informing us that they have breast cancer. Breast cancer is a common condition and celebrities and public figures are not immune. We have chronicled Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller already. Interestingly, another Republican First Lady developed it while her husband was in office. That would be Nancy Reagan. She survived it. Shirley Temple Black is credited with being the first celebrity with the disease. Little…
Breast cancer, like all cancers, is characterized by the abnormal growth of specialized cells. The cells lose their specialized function in the breast. Normal mechanisms regulating the growth and maintenance of these differentiated cells are then lost to the evil intruder.
Finally, specialized care for the treatment of breast cancer has emerged….
In formal doctor talk it is called the axilla. If you want to be pretentious you spell it the English way–axillae. Among friends it is call the armpit. Buried deep in this site are the skeletons of old theories about the behavior of breast cancer and the residue of now discredited operations.
Acronyms rule. In 1994 Congress passed the MQSA. This is a law that requires mammography facilities to be accredited by an FDA approved body. Currently the only nationally approved body is the ACR.
Breast cancer broke out into the open nationally and culturally during a two week period in 1974. Likely, there are few who will recall those two weeks in late September/early October1974.
Breast cancer patients don’t love the Plastic Surgeon any less than everyone else who wants to look and feel their best. Having breast cancer and losing a breast is a double whammy.
How often in our discussions about breast cancer prevention and treatment have we fantasized: if there was only a pill that we could take to prevent breast cancer….