Fortunately, most breast changes are not cancerous but benign. Nevertheless it is important to see your local doctor in the event that you notice a change, be it a lump, nipple discharge, skin dimpling, inflammation or other change. Your general practitioner will evaluate further and may order breast imaging and refer to Joanna for specialist advice.
The understanding and management of breast cancer has improved considerably over the last few years, with earlier detection, tailored treatments and much better outcomes. The suspicion and diagnosis of invasive breast cancer can be a confronting and frightening experience. Not only does it affect the patient, but family and friends can be similarly challenged. Joanna will explain the condition and give you a better understanding of the decisions that need to be made as the information unfolds.
No breast cancer is the same. Whilst the word “cancer” can be scary and a negative one, many breast cancers are not life threatening. There are different tumour biologies and each individual will have their own personal, physical and psychological circumstances to consider. Joanna is compassionate and has significant experience in the diagnosis and surgical management of breast cancer. The timing and selection of surgery needs careful planning to maximise oncological and cosmetic outcomes. Joanna will also be in discussion with other relevant specialists to ensure best practice, optimal care and management.
Joanna performs oncoplastic breast surgery. Surgical incisions are carefully positioned to hide the scar, such as around the edge of the areola, or in a skin crease under the breast or in the armpit. In addition Joanna can often operate on the breast and the armpit lymph nodes through a single incision. Other oncoplastic techniques are a mastopexy where by the nipple and areola skin is lifted, to improve the nipple projection after breast tissue has been removed. With some tumours, larger areas of breast tissue containing tumour and the overlying skin need to be removed, and Joanna performs a therapeutic mammaplasty to achieve a good breast shape and minimise deformity. These breast conserving procedures are especially useful as they may avoid the need for a mastectomy, and the associated psychological and physical impact. For those women who do require a mastectomy, breast reconstruction will be considered. Joanna performs skin sparing mastectomies with breast reconstruction in conjunction with a number of highly trained plastic surgeons. Joanna also performs this surgery in the prophylactic (breast cancer risk reducing) situation.
Joanna investigates and if required, operates on benign breast conditions. Ultrasound is particularly handy to use in the consulting rooms to further examine a lump or lesion. Sometimes, with permission, fine needle biopsies may be performed of complex cysts using ultrasound guidance. Similarly, larger or tender cysts can be easily drained with a fine needle in the rooms.
Australian Government Cancer Australia
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