ALL ABOUT BREAST CANCER

 

 

Breast tattoos are not just for breast cancer patients. There are many reasons why people will get breast tattoos; Breast reconstruction, breast augmentation, breast reductions, uplifts, necrosis, accidents or trauma, burns and birth defects are just a few of the reasons. 

There are many options for someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer or BRCA. Most common options are chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

 

5 TYPES OF BREAST CANCER

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ: (AKA DCIS) this is a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells are found in the lining of the breast milk duct but have not spread to the surrounding tissue. If caught early this type of cancer is highly treatable.

Invasive Duct Carcinoma: (AKA IDC) This type of cancer makes up 70-80% of all breast cancer diagnosis. In this type of cancer, the cells have formed in the breast milk duct and have spread to the other surrounding areas of the breast tissue. This type of breast cancer is also the most common to effect men.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer: (AKA TNBC) In this type of breast cancer three of the most common receptors (estrogen, progesterone and the HERS2/nue-gene) are NOT present in the tumor. Since the tumors lack the necessary receptors, common treatments like hormone therapy can be effective.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer: (AKA IBC) This is an aggressive, fast growing breast cancer where the cancer cells infiltrate the skin and lymph vessels of the breast. It often produces no tumor or lump to be felt and isolated in the breast.

Mestastic Breast Cancer: (AKA MBC) Classified as stage 4 breast cancer. The cancer has spread through other parts of the body. Usually including the liver, brain, bones and lungs.

These are the most common types of breast cancer but there are other less commonly seen. To find more information go to www.nationalbreastcancer.org.

 

TYPES OF TREATMENT

Chemotherapy: is a strong anti-cancer treatment that is used to reduce or kill the growth of the cancer cells by use o a drug that is usually given intravenously, as a pill or a combination of the two.

Radiation: There are 2 types of radiation. It is a treatment where high doses of radiation are used to reduce or kill the growth of cancer cells. Externally a machine is used (at a clinic or hospital) to administer the radiation to the area with cancer.  Internally, one or more tubes are placed in the breast and a radioactive substance is loaded into the tubes. After a few minutes the tubes are removed leaving no radiation in the body. This is also known as Brachytherapy.

Surgery: offers many options such as full breast removal (mastectomy), breast sparing (also known as breast- conserving) which includes lumpectomy, and partial mastectomy (also known as segmental mastectomy.

Breast reconstruction can take place at different times. Some will want the reconstruction immediately after the mastectomy or surgery and some will have to wait for a few months or years depending on their situation and doctor.

Breast reconstruction is the surgical process of rebuilding the breast using existing body tissue implants or a combination of the both. The goal is to return the breasts to the most natural look as possible. This process often includes the nipple and areola as part of the final stages.

TYPES OF SURGERIES

Breast Augmentation: enhancing the breast size and sometimes shape with the use of implants and fat transfer.

Breast Reduction: Reducing the breast through surgical procedures

Uplifts: Lifting the breast where the breast tissue has stretched and the breast hang lower than desired.

Necrosis: Where the tissue dies and falls off leaving loss of pigment, nipple loss or scarring.

Breast Sparing: (AKA Skin Sparing) The tumor of the nipple and areola are removed but the surrounding skin is spared.

Nipple Sparing: The nipple and skin are spared butte breast tissue is removed.

Partial Breast Reconstruction: Usually removing an area of the breast or removing the lump (lumpectomy) where the breast may be left distorted (although onco-plastic techniques can be used to restore the shape of the breast)

Simple Mastectomy: (AKA Total Mastectomy) This is where the breast tissue, the areola, the nipple and the skin are removed but not all of the lymph nodes.

Modified Radical Mastectomy: This is where the entire breast, skin, areola, nipple and most of the lymph nodes under the arm are removed.

Radical Mastectomy: This is where the entire breast is removed along with the chest muscle that lies underneath, areola, nipple and all of the lymph nodes under the arm.

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BREAST

There are two types of reconstruction of the breast. Implant Reconstruction where silicon or saline implants are used and

“FLAP” or Autologous Reconstruction where the individual’s own tissue from another part of the body is used to form the new breast.

Types of Autologous flap reconstruction you can research are: Body Lift Perforated Flaps, DIEP Flap, APEX Flap, Fat Grafting, IGAP Flap, Latissimus Dorsi Flap, PAP Flap, SGAP Flap, SIEA Flap, Stacked DIEP Flap, Stacked/Hybrid GAP Flap, TRAM Flap and TUG Flap.

 

AREOLA & NIPPLE RE-PIGMENTATION

When the nipple is not able to be spared or is damaged after breast reconstruction, scarred or has a loss of pigmentation, a re-pigmentation, 3D areola/nipple tattoo, or recreation of the areola/nipple can be done.

3D nipple tattooing is a method of recreating a realistic looking image of a natural areola and nipple using tattoo ink and shading techniques learned in advance training.

Creating a natural looking nipple on breast skin adds the visual element of realism, however the image is flat and not palpable.

Individuals who want to take the 3D image to the next level have the option of having a dermal filler injected under the newly created nipple image to create a palpable protrusion and life like nipple or 4D nipple tattoo. 

Whether 3D, 4D or corrections of some sort, this is the perfect finishing touch to the restoration of one’s wholeness.

***If you have had hair loss or loss of eyebrow hair due to surgery, chemotherapy or radiation see the solutions on our scalp micropigmenation and eyebrow microblading***

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