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Reconstructive Breast cancer surgeries

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
And we are sharing survival stories.
 
Introducing a woman facing breast reconstruction surgery as part of recovery.
In May, Angelina Jolie revealed she underwent a preventative double-masectomy--making the decision to remove both her breasts after finding out she had an 87% chance of developing cancer.
  
She's since had her breasts reconstructed.  But what about the everyday women, trying to rebuild their lives and their breasts after beating cancer?

"Hello how are you doing?"
"It's the silver lining of breast cancer. I feel like I've been through a journey and I've met some amazing people through it, but I feel restored"
   
They've lost their breasts but not their lives.
It doesn't have to end your world. Find the positive in it
 And these women have.
   
Hi how are you? I'm Dr. Shack. Nice to see you.
Leila Grossman is a breast cancer survivor,   
I sort of feel like it was a lucky break for me. It was a no brainer to take them off
   
She's talking about her breasts.
First a mammogram, then a biopsy, in 2011, Grossman found herself going under the knife for the first time in her life to fight cancer and when the worst was over--she began the long road to recovery, including breast reconstruction.
   
Leila Grossman says it was amazing. I mean really, they constructed two breasts out of my stomach
   
It's essentially a tummy tuck--using deep belly tissue to rebuild the lost breast after a mastectomy.

Another option, the implant based reconstruction--using these expanders to create new tissue for reconstruction.
   
They're two of the most popular surgeries Dr. Bruce Shack does here at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

Bruce Shack//Vanderbilt Plastic Surgeon says, Our goal is to restore them to as near  normal as we possibly can and in some cases make them better than they were before surgery.
   
It's been a life-changing alteration for Lisa Barrett.
She was diagnosed with Stage 2-Breast Cancer in 2012.

Barrett//Breast cancer survivor says Wow. They didn't look that good when I was 25.
Thanks to these doctors, it's what they can now wear, as a sign of survival
   
Leila Grossman says I mean he gave me back something that I lost, and made them better
   
And if they're ever asked about their new breasts, Dr. Shack tells them to say- of course they're fake. My real ones tried to kill me.
   
The American Cancer Society predicts over 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time this year.
   
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