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Breast cancer has always played an important role in Jennifer's life, even long before she was diagnosed. Her mother had breast cancer. Her aunt died of breast cancer. Her cousin was a two-time cancer survivor. She had been receiving regular mammograms since she was 35. So, when a mammogram and biopsy in 2007 confirmed Stage 1 cancer in her right breast, it was not a shock. "I always felt like I was going to get it," Jennifer says. After a double mastectomy, she opted for delayed breast implant reconstruction.
Although a lumpectomy was an option for Jennifer, she chose to have a double mastectomy (removing the left breast prophylactically). Her surgeon discussed reconstruction with her prior to her mastectomy, but Jennifer decided to wait. She decided upon delayed reconstruction using AlloDerm® Regenerative Tissue Matrix and breast implants.
Jennifer is very happy with the results of her breast reconstruction. "I feel happier. I feel complete. I feel content and I feel like I felt before I had the mastectomy," she says.
Jennifer advises women with breast cancer to talk to their surgeon about their breast reconstruction options. She also suggests speaking with other breast cancer survivors to learn more about other women's reconstructions. "Immediate reconstruction is a wonderful option," she says, "but it's not the only option. And I want people to understand that delayed reconstruction is available. It's done well and it might be the perfect fit for some women who are facing mastectomy."
The method of reconstruction you choose will depend on a variety of factors. The best way to determine which procedure will best meet your goals is to meet with a qualified surgeon. You can use our Doctor Finder to find a breast reconstruction surgeon near you.
Read the full transcript of Jennifer's story.