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Ask a Patch Panel: Breast Cancer

A breast care coordinator, cancer survivor and proprietor of a boutique that caters to women in the midst of breast cancer treatment will answer your questions about breast cancer for the next two days.

It is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

For the next two days Patch will host a panel of people to field your questions about breast cancer.

  • Ashley Umbreit, Breast Care Coordinator at Lakeview Health in Stillwater.
  • Linda Swanson is the communications director for Lakeville schools and a breast cancer survivor.
  • Jan Beeson is a Certified Mastectomy Fitter and the proprietor of Lily Wellness in Burnsville, a boutique that caters to women in the midst of breast cancer treatment.

On Thursday, Oct. 9, and Friday, Oct. 10, our panel will take breast-cancer related questions from Patch users. 

So go ahead and ask away! Leave your questions in the comments area below and they’ll check back through Friday to answer your questions.

The comments of these experts are intended for general information only, and should not be construed as medical counsel."

Jan Beeson October 19, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Hi Clare. One of the main considerations is the length of time post-surgery. Women must be completely healed to have a bra and prosthetic fitted. It is important to be at least 6 weeks post-surgery. At Lily, we work with women when all incisions are healed and the drain tubes have been removed. We measure for the bra and the prosthetic, allowing for post-surgical swelling. We fit the bra and prosthetic at the first appointment and make sure the fit is perfect when the client picks up her items. It is very important to have a certified and trained prosthetic fitter work with you. Proper fit is important in order to avoid neck, shoulder and muscle issues later on. I will defer to Ashley on what happens to the body after a mastectom as I see the healed patients.
Ashley Umbreit October 19, 2012 at 09:34 PM
With a mastectomy, the post-op period of time is about 4 weeks. By 2 weeks you will feel better and the area is pretty well healed. Sometimes by this time the steri-strips are starting to come off and you are able to actually see the incision. At 4 weeks I feel like patients are feeling more comfortable with the entire idea and are very well healed. We tell people to wait until 6 weeks to get fitted for a prosthetic.
Sue Baldwin October 21, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I have had an appointment with Ashley for a post-surgery issue related to cancer and surgery and I found her very approchable and willing to help in any way she could. I think we are lucky to have her at SMG here in Stillwater and my suggestion about appointments related to cancer --take a friend or family member as a second set of ears. The information can be overwhelming, and having someone else hear the same thing that you are, can be a benefit.
eyemhear October 21, 2012 at 04:53 PM
You should view the documentary movie, "Pink Ribbons" about the massive exploitation of breast cancer by the corporations and other institutions. And, let's face it: there is a whole cancer industry.
Patti Rhode October 23, 2012 at 01:11 AM
I wish Ashley would have been there when I went through treatment. I think it would have helped a lot. There where certain things I didn't know about for example lymphodema. Lymphodema is not explained much prior to treatment But I would differ from Ashley on the second opinion. I had a second opinion and the doctor I went to see couldn't believe that lake view was not certain i had breast cancer from my mammogram. And had to have a MRI, car scan and lumpectomy to be certain. The doctor I saw fort second opionoin could spot the cancer right away on my mammogram Also there are some differences in testing and treatment options. Some surgeons believe in surgery first and then chemotherapy and radiation. Some surgeons believe on chemotherapy first, then surgery followed be radiation. It is best to check your options and then decide what is best for you personally. Pleas forgive the typing doing this on my phone.

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