By – Dr.Kirti Katherine Kabeer, Breast OncoplasticSurgeon, MGM Cancer Institute
India is experiencing an alarming surge in breast cancer cases, with the statistics revealing a sobering fact: every fourth minute, a woman is diagnosed with this life-altering disease. Perhaps even more alarming is the trend of younger women, those under the age of 35, being confronted with this formidable adversary. In the face of this growing crisis, there exists a dire need for heightened awareness and understanding of oncoplastic surgery, an approach that not only combats cancer but also safeguards the very essence of a woman’s identity.
Oncoplastic surgery represents a transformative synergy between oncology and plastic surgery, a harmonious marriage of medical expertise and artistic finesse. It stands as a testament to the remarkable strides made in the realm of breast cancer treatment. At its core, oncoplastic surgery endeavours to excise cancerous cells while preserving the natural beauty of the breast.
This innovative technique encompasses a range of procedures, primarily focused on rectifying glandular defects resulting from cancer removal. The classification of oncoplastic breast reconstructions hinges on two critical factors: the type of oncological procedure performed and the timing of breast reconstruction. In essence, oncoplastic surgery seeks not only to defeat cancer but also to restore a patient’s physical form, bestowing them with a renewed sense of self and confidence.
However, it is crucial to emphasize that oncoplastic surgery transcends the physical realm. It is not just about eradicating a disease or restoring bodily aesthetics; it also places great importance on the emotional and psychological well-being of the patient. This unique approach underscores the value of preserving a patient’s identity, self-worth, and confidence throughout the arduous journey of battling breast cancer.
For breast cancer survivors, oncoplastic surgery paves the way for a healthier, more fulfilling life. It grants them the precious gift of acceptance, allowing them to live without the constant turmoil of concern about their physical appearance. By doing so, it effectively lightens the emotional burden of their diagnosis, enabling them to embark on a fresh chapter of life, liberated from the clutches of cancer.
In today’s India, advanced treatment facilities for breast cancer are readily available. Nevertheless, misconceptions and societal taboos surrounding breast cancer continue to hinder progress. Many women hesitate to discuss or seek treatment for fear of societal judgment. The need of the hour is to raise awareness about oncoplastic surgery, not only as a medical procedure but as a symbol of empowerment for women who are battling breast tumours.
Remarkably, it is the women themselves who are challenging these taboos and leading the charge in raising awareness about this deadly disease. By doing so, they are not only advocating for their own health but also serving as beacons of hope and information for others facing a similar plight.
In conclusion, oncoplastic surgery is more than just a medical procedure; it is a holistic approach to breast cancer treatment that empowers women to reclaim their lives. In a country where the incidence of breast cancer is on the rise and taboos still persist, spreading awareness about oncoplastic surgery is not just a necessity but a moral imperative. It is a beacon of hope for women who dare to confront this formidable foe, illuminating a path toward not just survival, but a life lived to the fullest.