Radiation after Reconstruction
This is a topic that either will be of great interest to you--or will seem completely irrelevant to your situation. If that is the case, take these few minutes to look back at some old blogs and find something that is more helpful.
The issue of optimal timing for breast reconstruction for women who also need radiation therapy is currently a hot topic. Radiation is more often added to a treatment plan than previously (not too long ago it was always either mastectomy or radiation, never both), and it has become clear that radiation is sometimes damaging to reconstructed breasts (cosmetically). I was recently part of a task force for the MA Department of Medical Registration that was studying this concern and will make a report of recommendations.
This is an article from Community Oncology; I give you the abstract and a link:
Implications of postmastectomy radiation therapy on optimal timing and approach for breast reconstruction Jeannie Shen, MD
University of California, Los Angeles, and UCLA Pasadena Oncology, Pasadena, CA
Despite advances in early detection and ample data demonstrating the long-term safety of breast-conservation therapy, mastectomy continues to be increasingly utilized in the treatment of breast cancer. Studies have shown significant psychosocial and emotional health benefits for breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Skin-sparing mastectomy is a safe technique that facilitates immediate breast reconstruction (IBR). Although IBR does not increase local recurrence rates or delay the initiation of adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy, there is some evidence that it is linked to increased complications in the setting of postoperative radiotherapy. With the growing recognition of the importance of local tumor control on long-term survival, an emphasis is being placed on identifying women who may benefit from postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT). Although PMRT can undeniably improve breast cancer outcomes in high-risk patients, it may have a deleterious effect on reconstruction complications and aesthetic outcomes. As the indications for PMRT continue to evolve, determining the best timing for and type of reconstruction after mastectomy has never been more important.