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The lump in Mahazi's breast had been with her all of her life. It would swell or go down with her menstrual cycle, but it was always there. She'd grown accustomed to it, and it was only when it became painful that she spoke to her doctor. It was believed to be a milk duct but her doctor performed a biopsy because Mahazi was over 50. The biopsy results indicated it was malignant. So began Mahazi's journey through cancer, mastectomy, and breast reconstruction.
It was suggested that Mahazi could not have a lumpectomy as she had small breasts. Instead, she was told that she would need a mastectomy of her right breast. Mahazi was devastated because she thought that, after mastectomy, her only choice was to wear a prosthesis.
It was from the surgeon who would perform the mastectomy that she learned about breast reconstruction. Mahazi was surprised and encouraged. "We can rebuild you," the surgeon told her. In fact, reconstruction could actually make her breasts even larger than they were before mastectomy.
Mahazi went to see a plastic surgeon and decided to increase her breast size during reconstruction. "I felt that, at 50 years old, this would be my opportunity to get a new body," she says. "I loved having the breast reconstruction because it gave me the body that I always wanted. I feel great about myself."
As an entertainer, Mahazi feels that her larger chest enhances her appearance. She feels sexy and feminine, and loves the way she looks in her clothes. "I feel like I'm a living piece of art," Mahazi says. "I do, because it's beautiful. It's really a beautiful piece of work this man did. I'm so pleased, absolutely pleased."
"On the breast reconstruction side," Mahazi says, "I would tell every woman to do it because it makes you feel so much more secure, as opposed to wearing a prosthesis."
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 Mahazi's story.