Breast cancer affects women of all ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. The Breast Preservation Foundation believes that all women with breast cancer deserve the opportunity to spare their breasts. We thank these courageous women for sharing their personal stories so that others can be informed and inspired.
Stefanie LaRue, 33
Diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer at 30.
Within three weeks of her diagnosis, she started chemotherapy. Her lump measured over 8 centimeters. After chemo she had surgery to remove the cancer. But her margins were not clear, so another surgery followed. She was left with only skin and a nipple on the right side of her chest. Her breast surgeon had scraped all the way down to the chest wall removing all the breast tissue possible but sparing the skin. Despite the advanced stage of her cancer, she got to keep the outside of her breast because she had a skin-sparing mastectomy. A plastic surgeon was later able to reconstruct her breast, restoring her shape, her femininity and her sexuality.After multiple misdiagnoses and being told repeatedly she was too young to have breast cancer, Stefanie was diagnosed with aggressive, life-threatening, stage 4 metastatic cancer in her right breast in November 2005. She was given one year to live. She was 30 years old.
Mary Palmer, DDS, 62
After noticing an inverted nipple, Mary was diagnosed via a mammogram. After consulting a plastic surgeon in advance, her oncological surgeon performed a single, skin-sparing mastectomy, which allowed for breast and nipple reconstruction.
Edith Speed, 47
Diagnosed during a routine mammogram, Edith was advised to have a bilateral radical mastectomy due to her family history of breast cancer. With a coordinated surgical approach, she received skin-sparing mastectomies and immediate reconstruction during the same surgery.
Rosanna Rabottini, 49
Rosanna’s annual mammogram detected a lump. With a strong family history of breast cancer, she opted for a double mastectomy. Though not informed about it at the time, she was lucky to receive skin-sparing mastectomies, which allowed for breast reconstruction.