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Can I Still Get Breast Cancer After Getting My Breasts Removed?

Posted by on 15 January 2015
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FTM chest surgery may be the most important procedure a trans man undertakes during their transition process. Because this type of surgery eliminates the presence of the traditionally female associated breasts, you can now be comfortable in your own skin.

Breasts Removal

The surgery itself removes most of your breast tissue. However, in all cases there will still be some breast tissue that remains in the chest wall post-surgery. This is nothing to worry about. Our bodies are complex units and you will not notice the remaining tissue.

FTM chest surgery considerably reduces your risk of developing breast cancer. Because of the significant lack of breast tissue, cancer cells will have a hard time developing in that area. Conversely, there have been cases of individual’s getting breast cancer after they’ve had their breasts removed due to the remaining tissue found in the chest wall and other contributing factors that we will explore below.

Undergoing routine checks with your doctor is a great way to stay ahead of the game. A traditional mammogram will probably not be possible after FTM surgery, but your doctor can still perform clinical exams such as MRI and screening to detect cancer.

On top of visiting your physician for breast cancer checks, you can give yourself monthly at-home breast exams. It’s important to know your upper body before and after chest reconstruction surgery, that way you will notice any invariables in that area.

Look out for changes in feeling, size and appearance.

Although your risk for breast cancer diminishes after FTM top surgery here are some things to keep in mind:

  • If you are 50 or older, no matter when you had your chest reconstruction surgery, you should have annual exams done by a doctor.
  • If your family has a history of breast cancer, you should also have annual screenings for the disease.
  • Regular exercise boosts your immune system and helps keep breast cancer at bay.
  • Eating a diet that is low in fat and chock-full of fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
  • If you did not quit smoking prior to your FTM top surgery, it is something to consider. Smoking does not only cause lung cancer and heart disease but can lead to breast cancer as well.
  • Moderation is key when it comes to alcohol consumption. Drinking excessively can greatly increase your chances of getting breast cancer.

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