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Wanda Sykes Announces She Has Breast Cancer
By Dr. Jeffrey J. Roth Fri, September 23, 2011 3:53 pm MDT
Wanda Sykes Tells Ellen DeGeneres That Breast Reduction Surgery May Have Saved Her Life
Celebrity comedian and actress Wanda Sykes recently underwent breast reduction surgery and the procedure may have helped her avoid a battle with breast cancer. Ms. Sykes elected to undergo breast reduction surgery because she felt that the size of her breasts was significantly affecting her daily life.
Ms. Sykes was fortuntate because her breast reduction surgery not only improved her mobility and comfort, but a routine post-operation pathology report also revealed the early stages of cancer in her left breast. The tissue examined in her left breast contained Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS). This is a very early sign of cancer, often referred to as "stage 0." Given her options following the pathology report, My. Sykes elected to have a bilateral, or double, mastectomy. Hopefully this operation will prevent further spread of the disease.
She will also have many reconstructive options if she chooses to have another breast surgery, including recontructing her breasts using her own tissues. She could also be reconstructed with the use of tissue expanders followed by breast implants. If Ms. Sykes chooses it, there is also the potential to use a combination of the two approaches.
Some states have mandated physicans and plastic surgeons speak to their female patients about reconstructive breast options. A recent report suggests that room for improvement in education and awareness about breast reconstruction still exists, primarily among poor and uninsured female populations.
Hopefully the tragedy averted by Ms. Sykes will spread awareness about the risk of breast cancer and the potential solutions for avoiding it.
We wish Ms. Sykes the speediest of recoveries.
Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.
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