Jolie’s sur­geon rec­om­mends “Breast Team”

SHE Carribean Magazine - - BODY SHOP - (EDITED BY KAITLYN MCKENNA)

An­gelina Jolie's bomb­shell an­nounce­ment in the spring of 2013 that she un­der­went a pre­ven­ta­tive dou­ble mas­tec­tomy gar­nered praise as well as spark­ing a de­bate over ge­netic test­ing.

In Oc­to­ber, the plas­tic sur­geon who per­formed the star's breast re­con­struc­tion spoke out about the im­pact of Jolie's case, and called for a team ap­proach to breast-can­cer treat­ment, with plas­tic sur­geons in­volved from the time a woman is di­ag­nosed with can­cer and is con­sid­er­ing her treat­ment op­tions. Dr. Jay Or­ringer, who prac­tices at The Re­nais­sance Med­i­cal Cen­ter for Aes­thetic Surgery Inc. in Bev­erly Hills, Calif., spoke about the team ap­proach, or “the breast team,” at a doc­tors' meet­ing in Hol­ly­wood, Fla. The rec­om­mended team would in­clude the gen­eral sur­geon, med­i­cal on­col­o­gist, ra­di­a­tion on­col­o­gist and gy­ne­col­o­gist, Or­ringer said. Also, psy­chother­a­pists, support groups and phys­i­cal ther­a­pists may be im­por­tant.

Gen­er­ally, there are two ap­proaches to treat­ing breast can­cer. In breast-con­serv­ing surgery, the tu­mor is re­moved, and ra­di­a­tion An­gelina Jolie’s bomb­shell an­nounce­ment in the spring of 2013 that she un­der­went a pre­ven­ta­tive dou­ble mas­tec­tomy gar­nered praise as well as spark­ing a de­bate over ge­netic test­ing.

Women at high risk for breast can­cer may choose to un­dergo “ac­tive surveil­lance” and get tested reg­u­larly.

ther­apy is ap­plied to the breast. The sec­ond method in­volves re­mov­ing the breast al­to­gether, which is called a mas­tec­tomy.

Or­ringer was part of a team of physi­cians who cared for Jolie when she had a pro­phy­lac­tic mas­tec­tomy to pre­vent breast can­cer. Jolie car­ries a mu­ta­tion in the BRCA1 gene, which sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased her risk of de­vel­op­ing breast can­cer, she wrote in the New York Times in May.

About 12 per­cent of women in the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion will de­velop breast can­cer some­time dur­ing their lives. But the risk for women like Jolie, who carry a mu­ta­tion in ei­ther the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, is much higher.

Women at high risk for breast can­cer may choose to un­dergo “ac­tive surveil­lance” and get tested reg­u­larly. Another op­tion is to re­move both breasts, a pro­ce­dure called a pro­phy­lac­tic dou­ble mas­tec­tomy, which can re­duce the risk of de­vel­op­ing breast can­cer by ap­prox­i­mately 90 per­cent.

Newer sur­gi­cal tech­niques, in­clud­ing skin and nip­ple preser­va­tion and scars that re­sem­ble cos­metic ap­proaches, are im­prov­ing aes­thetic out­comes.

“The idea of a scar that goes across the chest is in­creas­ingly be­com­ing a scar of the past,” Or­ringer said.

“A woman is the cap­tain of her own health care team, and the doc­tors in­volved should be co-cap­tains with her, work­ing with her to help achieve the best out­comes,” Or­ringer said.

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