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What are some facts about life after a double mastectomy?

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Although mastectomies include the removal of almost all breast tissue, women who have undergone bilateral mastectomies still have a small chance that cancer may recur on the chest wall, making regular breast examinations necessary, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. A healthy diet after bilateral mastectomy can safely include natural soy derived from foods and beverages. Approximately 20 percent of women who have mastectomies choose no reconstruction, reports BreastCancer.org.

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Although women who have undergone bilateral mastectomies do not have to receive annual mammograms, doctors monitor them closely for the two years following surgery, when the chance for a recurrence is the highest, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. If the cancer metastasizes to another organ in the body, it is no longer curable.

A woman may require treatments, such as radiation or chemotherapy, or be eligible to participate in clinical trials. Doctors recommend balanced and organic diets, but there is no scientific evidence, as of 2015, that eating non-organic foods increases a woman’s chance of breast cancer. While soy products are a good substitute for animal proteins, doctors caution women with breast cancer to avoid concentrated forms, such as powders and supplements, especially in women with a hormonal receptive breast cancer diagnosis.

Women who choose to forgo reconstructive surgery after bilateral mastectomies have quicker and easier recovery processes than women who elect immediate reconstructive surgery, notes BreastCancer.org. Women can delay reconstruction for six months or longer, post-mastectomy, to increase their chances for an easier recovery. Approximately 70 percent of women do not receive adequate information about reconstruction prior to their mastectomies, according to studies from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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