Cancer Truth Note: #332
Knowing the WHY of your treatments and surgery approaches means you are more empowered to make decisions quicker for or against.
I will forever tell people understanding why they have cancer is a fruitless prospect. With the exception of genetic markers, which can help you know it is not your fault and alert other family members of a possible increased risk. However, understanding Why a treatment or surgical approach is being recommended versus another approach can be instrumental in helping you make fully informed decisions.
Doctors have procedures they like or specialize in. I have told the story of my friend (a breast cancer survivor) who was asking for breast reconstruction information on implants, because the choice she was weighing was between small implants or nothing. Yet the surgeon she was first referred to refused to even discuss implants during her first consultation because he specialized in LAT Flaps. She didn’t ask about that and didn’t want it. Yet it was being pushed as the “right” option.
I recently met a client who had a DIEP flap with implant augmentation. DIEP is another form of breast reconstruction. It basically takes fat from your abdomen and moves it to create breast mounds. It is on average an 8 to 10 hour surgery where the moved stuff is connected to a blood supply so it survives. If you have excess belly fluff it basically is a tummy tuck and breast reconstruction combined.
When I was considering options 7 years ago it was not an option because I was too thin. I am fairly medium sized. Since then I have met several people where this was the recommendation and implants were used to augment because they were much smaller people without enough fluff to do the full job. This made me wonder… Why not just do implants? It is a much shorter surgery and if implants are being used anyway the basic purpose of a flap procedure, to keep foreign parts out of the body, doesn’t apply.
I actually asked the question, “Out of pure curiosity do you know why they didn’t just recommend implants?”
We don’t know what we don’t know. When it comes to cancer treatment, most likely you don’t know much. It is all new. It is all overwhelming. It is a little scary. AND we expect doctors to recommend what we NEED, not what they like to do or the new fancy thing.
Be empowered to ask all the questions and don’t stop until you are happy with the answers.
What questions have you asked or wished you asked? Drop them in the comments to help someone else out!
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