Breast cancer brings about an incredibly wide range of challenges and battles and it can often leave lasting marks both physically and emotionally.
Even after the cancer is gone, the effects remain.
But Andrea isn’t letting the trials in her past define how she lives each and every day. She just spent a weekend in East Hampton, wearing her bathing suit.
“No one would know that any surgery happened on my body. You can’t see anything.”
Would breast cancer change Andrea?
When Andrea found out about her breast cancer, she was devastated. It was like getting hit with a brick.
For years, she had lived a healthy life and done her best to take care of her body, so when she found a lump in her breast during a self-examination, she was shocked and terrified.
Breast cancer undid everything healthy that she had worked on and, moreover, it threatened to take away the self-image and femininity that she found so important.
Scars can be a sign of a hard-fought battle against breast cancer won and, for many women, they are a badge of honor and pride. They’re nothing to be ashamed of, but Andrea didn’t want them.
She didn’t want to look at herself every day in the mirror and remember the pain and the hardships of treatment or have a reminder that there was a chance she could develop the disease again.
Many people don’t fully understand the psychological effects that breast cancer surgery can have on a woman. Even Andrea’s husband was unaware of her desire to keep her breasts intact.
“I just wanted her to be healthy. I never thought of breast cancer in the context that it would change her.”
It wasn’t until discussing it with his wife that he realized that scars as a result of breast cancer surgery could change her as a woman and how she felt about herself.
Finding the courage to live
The tumor in Andrea’s breast, diagnosed as a Stage 1 Ductal Carcinoma, was one that would be difficult to remove without leaving a scar. But Andrea was convinced that there must be a different way.
She learned that with this treatment option, her trained surgeon would be able to make an incision in a fold of the skin that you naturally have, hiding the scar completely from the rest of the world.
So that’s what she did.
Now, she’s happy to be able to live every day without having to remember that she had breast cancer.
“If I have a scar, it will always remind me that I had it and that I could have it again, but I don’t even have a dimple, or any other kind of indication.”
Now, Andrea has dedicated herself to living her life to its fullest and thriving even through the midst of life’s hardest trials. Her breast cancer journey taught her the value of her family and that it’s okay to ask for help and seek support from the people you love and care about.
What all breast cancer patients should know
Andrea is passionate about making sure that women know all their options when facing breast cancer surgery.
Over 300,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year, but 1 out of 3 doesn’t know all the surgical options that are available to them.
This shouldn’t be the case.
Andrea believes that all women, everywhere should be able to decide what happens to their bodies and have full knowledge of the treatment options that are available to them.
Courage comes from knowledge and other women diagnosed with breast cancer should be able to weigh all their options before making such a life-altering decision.
“We learned about all the chemicals that the doctors pump into our body. They’re going to make us lose our hair and make us sick, but they don’t know that Hidden Scar breast cancer surgery exists and we need to know that.”
Breast cancer is only a part of your story.
Share your personal story in the fight against breast cancer.
Join women from around the world who have shared their stories of courage in the face of breast cancer. Your experience can encourage and empower those who may be feeling alone in their journey.