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 importance of self-examination and screening

October is international action month in the fight against breast cancer. According to recent figures, the disease affects more than 10,000 new patients a year in Belgium.

Self-examination and screening cannot prevent the development of breast cancer, but they do ensure that more breast cancers are detected and treated early. Treatment is also often less severe, while the chance of full recovery is also greater.

We would therefore recommend that everyone, of any age, check their breasts very regularly, preferably the week after their period. Because only you know how they feel and only you can notice changes the quickest.

While doing so, watch for any irregularity that feels different than before, such as a retracted nipple, dimple or lump in the breast, fluid loss from the nipple. Not every irregularity is breast cancer. Did you know that in the majority of cases (even more than 75%) the irregularity is benign?

A recent study set up by Pink Ribbon shows that a lot of women, even 1 in 3 do not (dare to) look at their breasts and this is especially true in the younger age groups under 35. However, this group of women is also the most vulnerable. Thus, we see an increasing percentage of breast cancer diagnoses at a younger age (pre-menopause). Early detection is very important for a favorable prognosis towards a cure, and self-examination is crucial for this.

The Flemish Breast Cancer Screening Program also gives women aged 50 to 69 the opportunity to have a quality screening mammogram every two years. The examination is completely free if you are a member of a Belgian health insurance fund. So you don't pay a co-payment either. But those under 50 years of age are not covered by screening programs and thus mainly need a breast cancer awareness campaign.

There are some factors that increase the risk of breast cancer, such as age, smoking, as well as lack of exercise or obesity. Heredity or family strain can also play a role.

Regarding breast cancer, in recent years, with the discovery of the BRCA gene, there has been a shift toward prevention. Meanwhile, several genes have been discovered as well as several risk factors described. Concerning genetic and family burden, you can find more information here (Genetic factors).

With our "Laat ze scannen" campaign, in cooperation with Tietje, we want to call on everyone to perform regular self-examinations, at least once a month, and create more awareness among all age groups.