Breast Reconstruction for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer contracted by women in Australia, with a one in nine risk factor.

The surgical removal of breasts is one of the treatment options for breast cancer. Those who undergo breast removal surgery have the option to wear breast prosthetics or have breast reconstruction surgery.

A woman’s risk of contracting breast cancer increases with age. About 75 percent of breast cancers are detected in women over the age of 50, particularly in those between the ages of 50 and 69. Current statistics show that fewer than 6 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 40 years of age. Estimates also show that by 2015, approximately 15,409 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer rarely occurs in men. It accounts for only about one percent of cancers in men and one percent of breast cancer overall.

Women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Radiation exposure, obesity, excessive use of alcohol, and postmenopausal hormone therapy can also increase this risk.

Between 5 to 10 percent of cancers are caused by inherited genetic mutations and a history of breast cancer in the family. Mutations in two genes, referred to as BRCA1 and BRCA2, greatly increase the risk of developing cancer.

There are genetic tests to find out whether you have inherited defective BRCA genes from your parents. Having the mutations does also not necessarily guarantee that you will develop either type of cancer. It simply shows that you face a higher risk.

Because early detection can save lives, breast cancer awareness focuses on the need for regular breast self-examination, mammograms, and early diagnosis.

Risks can also be reduced through lifestyle modifications, including regular physical activity, restricted consumption of alcohol and animal fats, and avoiding hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and weight gain after menopause.

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