Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in the U.S. One out of every eight persons is at risk for this kind of cancer. That is a staggering statistic. Put ten women in a room and it is likely that one or more will find out they have breast cancer during their life. Most of us know someone, or several people, who have some kind of cancer. Breast cancer is a very difficult and many times devastating diagnosis. Thousands of women, known as “Flatties”, get breast cancer each year and choose not to have reconstruction surgery.
Breast reconstruction or not?
Western medicine has come a long way in treating breast cancer with surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, drugs, and radiation. There are also a number of non-traditional modalities such as acupuncture, meditation, reiki, and massage therapy that help when one is going through treatment. Some women opt for reconstructive surgery while a number of women do not. They are known as “Flatties” because they no longer have breasts after a mastectomy.
Sometimes when a woman has one or both breasts removed and decides to do the reconstructive procedures with implants — there are significant complications. Surgery is always a risk and the implants may leak. This can lead to all kinds of health issues and delay one’s ability to get back to a healthier place. There is a name for this, Breast Implant Illness (BII) and there are a number of people with implants that now have multiple sclerosis, lupus, and other auto-immune conditions.
Flatties need not worry about surgery or implants which for many, is a big relief. Finishing up treatment and moving forward is an option that more and more breast cancer thrivers are choosing. There are Flatties all over the U.S. and all over the world. This October 8th, 2022 in Mesa, Colorado will be the largest gathering of Flatties ever called, Flat Out on Flat Top. You may check it out on the Flat Out Love Facebook page or Flat Out Love on Instagram. It is very exciting and CBD Jubilee is happy to be one of the sponsors of this big meet up. This event was created by our own Lissa Sears who is incredibly passionate about advocating for those who do not want reconstructive surgery.
Flat Out on Flat Top:
Lissa says, “On Oct 21, 1998, federal law required that most group insurance plans cover breast reconstruction. Prior to that, after a mastectomy, most women went Flat because doctors weren’t pushing reconstruction like they are today. Many times doctors won’t even offer Flat as an option. It is possible that they make more money for more surgery but they also do it because their image of a woman is one who is supposed to have breasts. Then there are others that leave extra skin because “You may change your mind” as one doctor said to a fellow activist as she was restating in the operating room that she wanted to go “Flat.”
Lissa works with Flatties everywhere to help them overcome body image challenges after breast cancer. She also wants them to know they are supported by so many others who have opted out of reconstruction. According to Lissa, “A lot of people are not like me and they can’t even look at themselves in the mirror without their breasts. It breaks my heart and it is the reason I do Flattie activism work because with or without breasts you sometimes just need a little help from people who are on a similar journey and need that extra encouragement.” Some women have reconstructive surgery and down the road develop BII. They then have to remove those implants and become a Flattie.
Flatties deserve the support:
We want to support women on their health and wellness journey. We want Flatties to know that there are terrific, non-medication, non-surgical options for dealing with lingering side effects such as systemic inflammation and pain. Insomnia and auto-immune troubles can persist. CBD is such a great supplement that may help calm down that inflammation and reduce one’s pain. It can also assist in keeping tough symptoms at bay. We work with many individuals who have had all kinds of cancer and are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Sometimes, customers use both traditional and non-traditional options.
We honor all the Flatties who have taken their health into their own hands and are striving to feel their best. Supporting you on your journey is what we want to do. Join us in celebrating International Flat Day on October 7th or join the gathering on October 8th in Mesa, Colorado!