When someone is told they have been diagnosed with breast cancer, many thoughts go swirling around in their head. “Am I going to die?” This question is quickly followed by “what am I going to look like during and after my treatments?”
The (old) Halsted radical mastectomy was standard of care 50 years ago. As long as there are women alive today to tell the horror stories of what the 1970s’ breast surgery looked like, there will be women who fear breast cancer solely because of the fear this will be their surgical outcome. Granted, it did reduce mortality from 91% down to 6% for Dr. William Halsted’s patients who he performed it on, with the same results for those he surgically trained, but it remains a horrific image and story that is told.