Be Breast Aware

Be Breast Aware

October is breast cancer awareness month; an annual campaign that helps to increase awareness of the disease through education and support.

Know Your Breasts

Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women. While survival rates continue to improve for women with breast cancer in Australia – the overall 5-year survival rate for breast cancer in females is now 90% – it is still important to be breast aware and know what signs to look out for. Dr Hunt explains how regularly you should check your breasts, some of the important changes to look out for and when you should see a doctor.

It is important to check your breast for any changes on a regular basis. You know your breasts and your body better than anyone else – if you notice a change it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Make sure you check your breasts at different times of the month. Your breasts can change during your menstrual cycle, so it is good to know how they may feel or change as a result of this.

It is also common for your breasts to change during the menopause and it is recommended for women over the age of 50 to attend regular breast screens. In fact, Australian women aged between 50-74 are invited to access free mammograms every 2 years via the BreastScreen Australia program.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Many changes in your breasts aren’t a result of breast cancer, but it’s always important to see your doctor as soon as you notice any of these changes:

  • A new lump, or lumpiness particularly if it’s only in one breast
  • A change in shape or size of your breast
  • Pain that doesn’t go away
  • Changes to the nipple, such as redness, inversion, ulcers or crusting
  • Nipple discharge that is not milky or bleeding from the nipples
  • Change to the skin on your breast, such as redness or dimpling

Getting used to how your breasts feel means you’re more likely to know what is normal and when something might be wrong. If you would like to learn more about breast cancer, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment please click here.

Breast Reconstruction

If you have had breast surgery to treat breast cancer, then you may be considering breast reconstruction surgery. Reconstructive surgery is complex and must be tailored to your specific needs. The type of surgery you have – lumpectomy, mastectomy, node removal – will have a big influence on the type of reconstructive procedure you require. Dr Hunt will thoroughly explain all the options to you, and you will find a welcoming and supportive environment.

Update on Breast Implants

Update on Breast Implants

Last week the TGA announced its review of textured breast implants and we would like to provide our patients with some more information regarding this announcement.

The TGA announcement refers to a rare form of lymphoma (ALCL) and the most recent data shows the risk of this rare lymphoma varies from 1: 1,000 up to 1: 86,000, depending on the type of textured surface of the implant. It is also important to note that ALCL is not a breast cancer.

As over 90% of breast implants used by Dr Hunt have been micro textured implants, it is important to highlight the difference between macro and micro textured implants. The risk of ALCL with micro textured implants is 1: 56,000 to 1:86,000, compared to macro textured implants which currently stand at 1: 1,000 to 1: 10,000. Therefore, the grouping of all textured implants into one category does not accurately reflect the risk of ALCL.

ALCL is generally observed in women 7-10 years after their surgery and often presents as a swelling or a lump. To date, there have been 96 cases reported in Australia and the TGA has advised that the majority of these cases were cured by removal of the implant.

What does this mean for our patients?

It is important to note that the TGA announcement does not suggest that those patients who have textured breast implants require any immediate medical attention. The TGA states that “because BIA-ALCL is rare, experts do not recommend removal of breast implants where there are no problems with the implant.”

We recommend that patients should monitor their implants with regular ultrasounds – something we have always encourage patients to do. There is no suggestion that these implants need to be removed at present. If you are concerned about your breast implants, particularly swelling or hardening, then you should seek medical advice from your GP, or if you had your surgery with Dr Hunt you can contact us on 02 9327 1733.

Need more information?

For more information on this announcement, please visit the TGA website. To read more about the TGA’s information for consumers regarding ALCL, please click here.

The Australia Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has released a statement providing more information on the TGA and textured implants. To read the statement, click here.

Natural-looking Breasts, a new trend?

Natural-looking Breasts, a new trend?

Cosmetic surgery is becoming more normal that ever before and the trends that were once so strong in the 1990s and 2000s are starting to see steep declines. We all remember famous figures such as Jodie Marsh encouraging a new found following for bigger breasts. However, recent studies reveal a growing number of women requesting more modest sized implants over the last five years, with the average size now shrinking to a C cup.

This new wave of breasts seems to be a favourite in Hollywood too, with celebrities such as Sienna Miller, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lawrence all sporting more natural silhouettes on the red carpet. After admitting to press in 2014 that she had a 34DD breast augmentation, Victoria Beckham has now had her procedure reversed, scaling down to a 34B.

Dr Jeremy Hunt commented: “Many of our customers are requesting more natural looks when considering non-surgical and cosmetic surgery procedures. This has been a particularly pronounced increased in requests for more modest breast implants“.

It is no secret that both the media and clinics such as Dr Jeremy’s have noticed an uptake in cosmetic procedures, but these procedures are now natural-looking requests. This new outlook changes the way in which women are approaching breast augmentation are being encouraged to approach this in a new manner too. Overall, it is appears to be a healthy change that many practitioners would argue is long overdue.

Teens Turn to Surgery to Avoid Bullying

It has recently been reported in the United States on Fox 13 that there is a trend towards teenagers undergoing plastic surgical procedures with the blessing of their parents so as to avoid bullying.

We will all be aware of the difficulties of cyber bullying and the power of social media in terms of establishing a young person’s personal self-esteem.

There does seem to be a trend with a Florida surgeon, Dr Jennifer Walden, stating she has seen a 30% rise in teenage plastic surgery over the last 10 years.

Certainly the trend towards patients undergoing procedures at a younger age increases in Australia, though at this stage any child under the age of 18 it is recommended do not undergo any elective cosmetic surgical procedure without the consent of their parents.

Dr Jeremy Hunt