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.

The story of Sévérine: a tale of hope, courage and victory

22 February 2024 in News

Sévérine, a devoted wife and proud mother of a teenage son, shines in her role as Sales Manager at e5 Fashion. For her, this isn't just a job, but a dream job she fulfills with passion. Sévérine was 46 when she heard the diagnosis 'breast cancer' a year ago at AZ Delta in Rumbeke.
During her journey at the breast clinic, she received a booby bag distributed for free by Beautiful After Breast Cancer through the breast clinics in Flanders. She let us know that receiving a 'little gift' was comforting, and she tells us her story of becoming ill, feeling ugly, 'falling out' and gradually stepping back proudly into life.

You never think it will happen to you, but then it does... The day I got the news (triple-negative breast cancer - a aggressive breast cancer that often affects young people), it felt like the ground disappeared from under my feet. The fear I felt - and still feel, even today - is incomparable. You think about your child, your husband... You just want to keep on living. You wonder 'why', 'what have I done wrong'...
As soon as I heard - after the PET scan - that we were going for a 'curative' treatment, I gained hope and decided to listen mainly to the doctor and go through the whole process. At that moment, you also don't really know what to expect. You have an idea of chemo, nausea, hair loss... but it's so much more than that.

For your information, my treatment consisted of:

  • Six months of chemotherapy

  • Immunotherapy (but after one treatment, I had to stop because of an autoimmune reaction (hepatitis), resulting in six months of heavy cortisone treatment on top of it

  • Surgery - fortunately, the therapy had worked well (tumor shrunk from seven centimeters to half a centimeter, swollen armpit lymph node was completely cancer-free after treatment), allowing me to have breast-conserving surgery (grateful for a fantastic surgeon! You don't notice 'anything' on me!)

  • Twenty sessions of radiation therapy

  • Six months of post-treatment with chemo pills (stopped two weeks ago). Hooray ;-)

The whole process is incomparable. Pure horror... The treatment affects your 'femininity'. You lose your hair, you swell from the cortisone, your skin dries out enormously... and then we haven't even talked about the fact that you could lose your breast.
I like to make myself look beautiful, but I felt so 'ugly' and 'dirty'.
Today, I am proud of myself. Also amazed at how I have endured it. A human has a lot of resilience, and you also quickly forget 'how sick' you really have been.

I received the booby bag from breast nurse Ingrid, with whom I have since built a loving bond. She gave me the bag on a day of chemo treatment, and I opened it on the spot. It felt like a 'little gift'... a moment of warmth and gratitude, because you're ultimately there in a somewhat sad and very confronting environment surrounded by only seriously ill people.
I immediately tested the samples of skincare products, makeup, and especially the nail polish (because suddenly I couldn't use gel polish on my nails anymore). I wanted to continue taking care of myself and make the best of the situation. I still use the products that came with it for dry skin today. There was also a refreshing spray included. Very welcome, because the therapy constantly gave me hot flashes.

The free booby bag is a fantastic and beautiful initiative. I still remember that the warm attention comforted me. I still use the bag today and never throw it away. It's not only beautiful to me, but it also reminds me of a beautiful moment and the warm contacts I had in a real shitty period (sorry for the language ;-)). If someone sees it, I also tell them what's behind it. For me, the bag today is somewhat synonymous with 'victory'. I made it!

After the first month of post-treatment, I gradually returned to work, and soon I will work full-time again. For me, that was the best decision I could make: stepping back into life, I am more than Sévérine-with-cancer. The fatigue is sometimes heavy to bear, but I have good hope that this too will get better within a year or so. I exercise, I enjoy, do what I like to do, and try not to think too much in terms of 'what if'...


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