It is almost impossible to turn on the TV these days without finding a programme on plastic surgery. Breast enlargement and reduction are often featured and it seems that everyone from celebrities to the woman on the street are considering some form of breast surgery.
Losing a breast is to cancer, however, is a devastating loss to a woman on top of the shock of learning that she has the disease. The thought that breast reconstruction might be able to restore a breast is a beacon of hope in what can otherwise seem a bleak landscape. Surprisingly however, only 50% of women who could have breast reconstruction actually go on to have the surgery. This may be because breast reconstruction is not straightforward and often multiple operations have been needed.
Through RAFT’s ground breaking research programme, our scientists are now close to a breakthrough that will transform breast reconstruction surgery for women all over the world. The Life After Breast Cancer Fund wants to raise £2 million in funding for two research projects and those research projects are aiming high, with reliable surgical procedures due to be delivered within the next 2 years.
Millions of pounds are spent on research into breast cancer treatment every year but we believe that RAFT is the only organisation that is researching techniques that will improve breast reconstruction surgery. We know that for women who have undergone lumpectomy and mastectomy their journey will not end when their treatment finishes. In many cases, this is just beginning of their struggle.
Soon, however, it will be possible for women to have breast reconstruction surgery that will rebuild the shape, appearance and the natural feel that they want, without extensive surgery and uncertainty about the results.
At RAFT we know that a diagnosis of breast cancer is devastating especially in a younger woman who may have more pronounced body image issues. The thought of never being able to comfortably wear a halter-neck dress or bikini can seem like another cruel blow on top of the diagnosis. That is why we at RAFT are working hard to offer viable reconstructive breast surgery so that women who have had breast cancer can concentrate on rebuilding their lives, not their bodies.
To support RAFT’s Life After Breast Cancer Fund, you can donate at lifeafterbreastcancerfund.org