October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Since 1968, Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. has been recognized throughout the medical community as one of the premier centers for cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery in the Southeast, and from the very beginning one of our primary areas of specialization has been breast reconstruction.  Dr. Carl R. Hartrampf, one of the original co-founders of our practice, developed the TRAM flap method, which was first performed in 1982 and is still regarded as the standard of care for creating natural appearing breasts and improved abdominal contours.  He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Atlanta Breast Surgery Symposium, an educational conference that is still co-hosted by Atlanta Plastic Surgery, P.C. each year allowing plastic and reconstructive surgeons from around the globe to gather and discuss the latest issues and developments in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery.  Because we are honored to have had the opportunity to work so closely with women recovering from breast cancer over the years, all of the Atlanta Plastic Surgery doctors: Philip H. Beegle Jr., M.D., L. Franklyn Elliott, M.D., Fernando D. Burstein, M.D., James D. Namnoum, M.D., Joseph Kerwin Williams, M.D., and Allyson B. Maske, M.D., would like to remind everyone that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

FOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Monthounded originally in 1985, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is now an international health campaign that aims to increase awareness of the disease and to help raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.  Studies conducted by the National Breast Cancer Foundation have found that as many as one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women.  Early detection and treatment, often followed by breast reconstruction surgery, make it possible for most of those afflicted with the disease to go on to live normal lives, but unfortunately many women neglect to take the necessary steps to detect the disease in its early stages.  This is why one of the primary goals of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.  Although current research does suggest that regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, a mammogram, or X-ray picture of the breast, is regarded as the most effective method of early detection and can sometimes detect early signs of breast cancer up to three years before they can be felt.

The American Cancer Society recommends women undergo clinical breast examinations every three years beginning at the age of twenty, and yearly mammograms upon reaching forty.  A very small number of women (less than 2%) should also be screened with MRIs because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors.  Talk with a doctor about your history and whether you should have other tests or start testing at an earlier age.  Successful screening largely depends upon noticing changes over the course of time, so it is often beneficial to have a mammogram performed before undergoing breast augmentation, as the introduction of breast implants can obviously change the architecture of the breasts and may make simple scanning tests less reliable.

If you have additional questions about breast reconstruction or are interested in any of the breast or body contouring plastic surgery procedures that we perform at Atlanta Plastic Surgery, viewing before and after pictures, or in learning more about the many insurance and financing options that we can provide in order to assist you, please feel free to contact Atlanta Plastic Surgery in Alpharetta or at one of our other Atlanta area offices located in Sandy Springs (Northside), Newnan, or Cumming, to schedule a full consultation.