I am writing to express my gratitude regarding the availability of breast reconstruction.

My diagnosis of DCIS, in May of 1995, left me feeling terrified, helpless, hopeless, and so very alone. I had a lot to learn.

I learned some specifics about my particular type of cancer from the analysis of my mammogram and the results of my biopsy. I also learned that there are many unknowns to manage. I believed that the best I could do for myself was to gather information, understand my options, and make the decision I felt would give me the chance to continue the quality of my future life as close as possible to that of my past.

The particulars of my case presented some different options for me. Lumpectomy and radiation would have left me with some of my own breast tissue, but put me at a higher risk for recurrence, since a large area of suspicious cell activity was revealed in my mammogram. A mastectomy would raise my risk of surviving the cancer, but leave me no breast at all.

I believed that a mastectomy would be the better treatment choice, given the risk factor. However, I would have chosen to assume the greater risk with a lumpectomy had reconstruction not been available as a part of the mastectomy process. I was so relieved that my insurance company provided medical coverage for reconstructive surgery. I could not have afforded it otherwise.

I am grateful that my early diagnosis and treatment and my reconstructive breast surgery has allowed me to get on with my life.

Very truly yours,

Peggy from California