Plastic surgery and the battle against breast cancer

Plastic surgery and the battle against breast cancer

EUGENE, Ore. - Katie Burk was just 23 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"I was married in August of 2008," she said, "and just a couple months after that I found a lump and my life changed."

She had no family history of the disease.

"I was kind of in fight mode," she said.

Burk's best option was a double mastectomy: doctors removed both of her breasts.

"I just wanted to live to be 100," she said, "so I was going to do whatever I had to do."

Staci Sisk was 36 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2006.

"At the time I was stage two," she said, "and if I hadn't have found it when I did, I wouldn't have lived three more years, so I wouldn't have made my 40th birthday."
    
She went through chemo and three different surgeries to remove the cancerous tissue, leaving a breast that "pretty much looked mutilated."

With that came emotional distress.

"Hiding to get into the shower, trying not to look in the mirror, very self-conscious," she said.

Both women opted for reconstructive surgery.

Burk had her surgery at the recommendation of her surgical oncologist, a cancer doctor.

The same day a general surgeon removed her breasts, Dr. Kiya Movassaghi rebuilt them.

Sisk had the reconstruction months after the initial surgeries.

The reconstruction "gave me the confidence to know that I am still a woman and I can still look and feel the way that I want to," she said, "and so it was awesome to be able to have that option."

sisk said her new breasts "will be the best looking thing on my body when I'm 80, I'm sure."

Plastic surgery was a tough decision, they said, but not one of vanity.

Sisk and Burk told KVAL News that reconstructing their breasts helped them rebuild their lives by making them feel like women again.
    
"My breasts look really good," Burk said, "and I am really excited."