Topic: Provider asked "So, when did you get breast augmentation?"

Forum: Mental Health: Because Cancer Doesn't Just Affect Your Breasts — Meet and support others who are affected by these issues around anxiety, depression & other emotional effects.

Posted on: Dec 11, 2021 05:34PM

Posted on: Dec 11, 2021 05:34PM

orangeflower wrote:

I went in for a follow up visit with an orthopedic doctor about shoulder and elbow pain. My cancer diagnosis, mastectomy, and implant reconstruction information are all in my file. I have never had breast augmentation. This physician assistant walks in and it's clear she's unprepared. She must have seen something in my file about implants because she asked me, "So, when did you have breast augmentation?" This put me in a position to have to verbalize that I had cancer and a mastectomy. It's a very emotional subject for me, I don't like having to verbally relive what happened. I couldn't tell if this woman even knew that reconstruction and breast augmentation are two very different things with some different health considerations. She tells me I have frozen shoulder, and then the doctor comes in and tells me I don't have frozen shoulder. Neither one of them read the progress report from my occupational therapist who is working on my elbow and shoulder. They can count on not seeing me again.

Dx 1/29/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/29/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/29/2020, DCIS, Left, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2020 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Surgery 6/15/2020 Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant
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Dec 11, 2021 08:27PM mountainmia wrote:

UGH. I am SO sorry this happened to you. I've had great care almost always through this process, but I've had 2 incidents with doctors that were absolutely not okay. If you feel up to it, please consider giving feedback to their "managers," whoever is in charge of their facility. With one of my bad-doctor experiences, the woman said something about it (breast cancer) being "over." I took a deep breath and said, "It is NOT over." For a moment she tried to justify what she said, and then realized how stupid or insensitive that was (both, really) and ultimately apologized. I hope she learned something from that. They won't learn if they don't get the feedback.


The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Dec 11, 2021 09:00PM - edited Dec 11, 2021 09:35PM by orangeflower

Yes, I've also had other healthcare providers, including my psychiatrist, tell me that the cancer is “in your rear view mirror" and “over." Even though they know how hormone receptor positive breast cancer works. It's like they're saying that to soothe their own secondhand anxiety.

Dx 1/29/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/29/2020, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/29/2020, DCIS, Left, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2020 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right) Surgery 6/15/2020 Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant
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Dec 11, 2021 09:06PM abigailj wrote:

Given how poorly they prepared for your appointment and how insensitive they were I think you’re well rid of that practice group. Sorry to hear you had to go through that, I would’ve felt same as you did. Sending gentle hugs!


Dx 1/2020, ILC/IDC, Both breasts, 2cm, Stage IB, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/23/2020 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap, SIEA flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap, SIEA flap Surgery 6/23/2020 Mastectomy (Left): Nipple Sparing, Skin Sparing; Mastectomy (Right): Nipple Sparing, Skin Sparing; Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap

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