Preserving Your Natural Look During Breast Cancer Treatment
March 31, 2023
Having a positive attitude during cancer treatment is important, but doctors also recommend a few things to do to look like yourself.
Last year was tough for Suzanne Evans, of Annapolis, whose first mammogram was normal. But then ...
"Probably about six months later, I started noticing my skin rippling and almost seeing a bump coming through," Evans said.
She got it checked out and the diagnosis was stage 1 breast cancer. She said it was almost Stage 2.
"So then, when I got the chemo news, I think that was the first time I actually cried because I was thinking of my children, and I didn't want them to see me sick," Evans said.
While the treatment wouldn't be easy, Evans' breast surgeon, Wen C. Liang, D.O., FACOS, with The Hoffberger Breast Center at Mercy, recommended a few things to help Evans at least look like herself through the process. First, was the nipple-sparing mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.
"We have no visible scars that you can see from the front, and the patient can have immediate reconstruction which means the implant is placed at the same time," Dr. Liang said.
Another recommendation was for cold-cap therapy in hopes of preserving her hair.
"I recently started recommending, for example, micro-blading to the eyebrows, which a lot of women do anyway, but perhaps doing it before starting chemo, it'll stay," Dr. Liang said.
Dr. Liang explained this allows patients to undergo treatment under the radar when out and about. Evans said she even toured colleges with her daughter during that time.
"It's a rough time, like, you're bloated, you're on steroids, like you don't feel pretty, but having your hair and little things like that, it does make a difference," Evans said.
Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.
Dan Collins, Senior Director of Media Relations