Patients with breast, head, neck or other cancers often have difficult choices to make. Removing tumors may be an essential component of their treatment plan, and key to their recovery. Ridding the body of cancer is, after all, the primary goal of cancer treatment. But it’s not the only goal. For many patients, another question arises: How can I feel whole again? Cancer operations that change how patients look, feel or function may have significant implications on their quality of life after surgery.
That’s where reconstructive plastic surgeons can play a major role, offering options to help patients—both men and women—regain their confidence, dignity and sense of self. Post-surgical reconstruction is making a difference in the lives of a wide array of cancer patients, especially those with breast, head and neck cancers. And many of these patients are being helped by the very doctors involved in their cancer treatment. Reconstructive plastic surgeons who work exclusively in cancer care are well-equipped to anticipate cancer patients’ needs, to understand the unique challenges they face and to offer a full spectrum of reconstruction options.