Beautiful After Breast Cancer Foundation


Modern medicine is increasingly transitioning towards preventive care. This shift towards prevention has also been observed in breast cancer care in recent years, particularly with the discovery of the BRCA gene. Subsequently, multiple genes and risk factors have been identified. Depending on these factors, a personalized screening strategy can be chosen. Therefore, it is crucial to understand these genetic and risk factors.


I was diagnosed with cancer ... This website serves as a portal designed to assist you and your loved ones in accessing personal information and finding solutions to your concerns.

The primary goal of this website is to offer guidance and support to patients as they navigate their journey toward recovery and improved quality of life. The "Diagnosis" section of our website is divided into two main categories. Firstly, under "Anatomy and Physiology," we provide fundamental knowledge about the breast. Secondly, in the "Tumors and Disorders" section, we delve deeper into various breast-related conditions.

Moreover, we aim to provide information to women who may be concerned about potential breast issues but are hesitant to seek immediate medical advice. Knowledge and information can often offer immediate reassurance if a woman is able to identify the issue herself and determine that no specific treatment is necessary. Conversely, we also strive to educate women who have received a diagnosis of a serious breast condition, such as breast cancer, and wish to approach their doctor well-informed and prepared.


The treatment for breast cancer should immediately include a discussion about reconstruction. Our foundation has no greater goal than to raise awareness of this among patients and oncological surgeons. By making an informed decision beforehand, we avoid closing off options for later reconstruction while still considering the oncological aspect. Of course, survival is paramount, and the decision of the oncologic surgeon will always take precedence.

The "Reconstruction or not?" page contains all the information you can expect during an initial consultation before undergoing tumor removal. This page is comprehensive, and your plastic surgeon will only provide information relevant to your situation.

"Removing the tumor" details the surgical procedure itself. This is the most crucial operation because effective tumor removal remains paramount. We guide you through the various methods of removal, a decision often made by a multidisciplinary team comprising oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, radiotherapists, breast nurses, gynecologists, oncological surgeons, and plastic surgeons.

The "Breast Reconstruction" section includes information and illustrations of the different reconstruction options along with corresponding steps.


Those treated for cancer often need a long period to recover.

Cancer is a radical illness with a heavy treatment. Often, people have to deal with psychosocial and/or physical problems afterwards, such as stress, anxiety, extreme fatigue, painful joints, reduced fitness, lymphedema... This can have a major impact on general well-being.

There are rehabilitation programmes offered by most hospitals. We cover some of the major topics here.

Quality of life

Quality of life is a key factor in coping with breast cancer. Therefore, it is important to find coping mechanisms that work, which will be different from patient to patient. For some, it may be finding enjoyment in activities they engaged in prior to diagnosis, taking time for appreciating life and expressing gratitude, volunteering, physical exercise... Of prime importance, studies have shown that accepting the disease as a part of one’s life is a key to effective coping, as well as focusing on mental strength to allow the patient to move on with life. In this section we are addressing some topics that patients experience during and after treatment and we are providing information to address them.

Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

In many patients mastectomy is still indicated. Factors influencing this decision are the size of the primary tumor, unfavorable localization of the tumor, multifocality or multicentricity of the cancer and finally recurrence after previous breast conserving surgery. Fortunately we have moved away from the conventional radical mastectomy and in most cases a modified radical mastectomy or skin sparing mastectomy is offered. Depending on the wishes of the patient and the size and shape of the breast, skin-sparing mastectomies can be combined with either reduction of the skin envelope or breast lift.
Replacement of the breast volume and regaining the shape of a natural breast may be achieved by using either implants or transferring autologous (body-own) tissue from the abdomen, buttocks, thighs or back.

When a primary reconstruction is envisioned the inframammary crease, the pectoral muscle and the overlying skin should all be preserved during the mastectomy procedure. In case of shortage of breast skin the envelope needs to be replaced either by skin from the free flap or by a period of preoperative expansion in case of implant reconstruction.

When confronted with a secondary or tertiary breast reconstruction, the degree of surgical post-ablative damage and radiotherapy damage to the different anatomical structures of the breast needs to be assessed. More aggressive ablative surgery, higher doses of radiotherapy (or higher sensitivity to radiotherapy), the number and type of previous reconstructive attempts and the absence of the nipple-areolar complex will all make the reconstructive procedure more complex and negatively influence the final result.