Sylvester Surgeons Offer Nipple Sparing Mastectomy
New Procedure Helps Breast Cancer Patients Get Back to Their Lives
Kristin Rojas, M.D., FACS, is a fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. For more information about breast cancer treatments, surgery, and support services available, click here.
MEET RACHEL MALOVE:
Rachel Malove was just 42 when she received a diagnosis of breast cancer.
“When you get that call, it’s just shocking,” says Rachel.
Rachel went to see Kristin Rojas, M.D. FACS, a surgical oncologist at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, who specializes in a new type of cancer surgery called Nipple Sparing Mastectomy or NSM.
“Doctor, what is NSM and how is it changing breast cancer surgery?” asks host Pam Giganti.
“The way I explain that to patients is that if your breast is an orange, we remove the breast tissue, which is the fruit of the orange, and then we leave the peel, which is the skin and includes the nipple. Then we replace the breast tissue that has the cancer with either a temporary or permanent implant or tissue from another part of your body,” Dr. Rojas says.
Rachel had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, part of Sylvester’s multidisciplinary approach to patient care.
“I do the cancer portion of the operation. At the same time, our plastic surgery colleagues are also present, and perform at least the first phase of the reconstructive portion,” says Dr. Rojas.
That was followed by 12 weeks of chemotherapy. Today, Rachel is proud to be a part of community events like Dolphins Challenge Cancer that fund cancer research at Sylvester.
“They’re not just survivors, we’re all warriors. We fought through this,” Rachel says.
She hopes her story will encourage others to get their annual mammograms. Rachel is grateful to Dr. Rojas and the entire Sylvester team.
“Her along with the team here, they saved my life,” says Rachel.
Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.