Male breast cancer latissimus flap 4.7
Advice to newcomers: I would recommend that anyone that survives breast cancer, ‘do what you want to do’, or what makes you feel better, male or female. There were some who discouraged me from reconstructive surgery, telling me to have liposuction on my right breast so both would be flat, others telling me to look at it like a battle scar…All this said, I did what made me happy and ignored other opinions. After 9 years I am thankfully still standing. I am 9 full years of surviving Breast Cancer on 10/1/2021.
I was diagnosed with Estrogen Receptor Positive Male Breast Cancer (HER-2). During my mastectomy, sentinel lymph nodes were tested and determined to be cancerous. In total 36 lymph nodes were removed, and 35 of them were cancerous. The cancer had advanced and I was in a life threatening situation.
There was no history of breast cancer in my family, male or female. I also took the BRCA gene testing and was determined to be negative for inheritance. I was however in Downtown NYC during the 911 attacks, and spent much time there for months afterward.
Post surgery I was put on a regimen of AC-T, dose dense chemotherapy. Once chemotherapy was completed I started seven weeks of radiation therapy, 5 days per week. With fair skin, by the time I got close to the end of radiation therapy, my chest was burned and had some blisters.
I had gone on disability during my treatments then returned to work once they were complete and life started returning to normal, 10.5 months after diagnosis.
My post-op appearance shirtless, or even with a tee shirt on, didn’t feel like myself and started looking into reconstruction.
Dr. Ron Israeli of Great Neck NY was recommended to me by a close friend/neighbor that was a nurse in the North Shore Hospital system (now Northwell) for close to 30 years. Dr. Israeli recommend Latissimus Dorsi Flap reconstruction surgery. I had the surgery approximately one year after the mastectomy. Although the surgery was difficult, I was quite pleased with the results after healing. For new patients, male or female, I would recommend discussing reconstruction at the time of mastectomy if possible.
Unfortunately, three years after my initial diagnosis and treatments, a small lump was found at my collar bone or clavicle during a routine exam by my Oncologist. After a needle biopsy it was determined to be the same breast cancer. I was told it was inoperable due to the location it was in, and was put on a regimen of the drug iBrance and two Faslodex injections monthly.
At this point I was 62.5 years old and decided it was time to retire. So since August 31st of 2015 I have not worked. I do have some fatigue and hair loss from the iBrance, but my life is mostly normal. I try to stay in shape by walking my Labrador Retriever twice a day, and going to the gym 3-4 times a week. My diagnosis since the return of cancer in 2012 is Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Surgeon: Dr. Ron Israeli of Great Neck, NY USA