Having worked directly with Breast Cancer patients, Dr. Carmen discovered that their aesthetic appearance was vital for their emotional well-being, and therefore their care needed to adopt a more holistic approach for successful treatment. Traditional Oncologists do not normally take care of these aesthetic elements, resulting in an unfortunate loss of identity for the patients.
Cancer is an age-related genetic disease with its prevalence increasing due to the heightened longevity of our society. Older cells are more prone to damage and the development of cancer. Alongside this element, the lifestyle adopted by the Western World, in conjunction with increased urbanization and economic development, have cultivated several habits within our society that have also contributed to its predominance.
Breast Cancer is the most common neoplasia amongst women worldwide. In the last century, new discoveries have generated a sense of hope, shifting Breast Cancer from an acute illness to a chronic condition, as the numbers of survivors increased with scientific developments. This new population of survivors have more optimistic expectations, so naturally they’re more interested in their overall well-being and quality of life.
Cancer per se not only ages cells, but its treatments do too. Hormonotherapy is widely used in Breast Cancer, and it is widely known to induce the menopause. This also accelerates the aging process and cellular age by 6%, due to a deficit of oestrogen. The hormonal changes are not the sole cause of aging skin, as chemotherapies also disturb the redox balance; increasing cellular stress and ageing. Additionally, breast surgery has a major impact on the patients’ body image, especially in younger recipients. Body image is radically disrupted during the procedure, with many complex outcomes impacting various facets of the patient, including survivorship.
There is strong evidence to suggest that an inadequate body image is directly related to a rise in physical and psychological distress, alongside harbouring difficulties during sex and intimacy. Furthermore, previous radiation treatment, anxiety, depression, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain symptoms, weight gain and loss were also, in addition to surgery, associated with negative body image concerns.
The Breast Cancer community endures many unfavourable body image emotions, not only due to the diagnosis and treatments they endure, but also due issues being exacerbated by the fact that they’re women in an oppressed society that have lost part of their femininity and youth due to a terrible illness.
The media has exhibited an unrealistic image for women, placing pressure on them to match a certain standard that is disturbed during their Breast Cancer journey. In this sense, the pink ribbon community are a group of integrated activists that are seeking an urgent change in the approach to their care, whilst minimizing bodily disruptions; normalizing and feminizing what they have lost.
The physical and aesthetical changes that they may experience, losing part of their beauty and femininity is essential for them to maintain their lives. There is a variety of physical and emotional changes that occur in Breast Cancer patients during their illness. These changes trigger a reduction in the quality of life that should be formerly addressed. Dr. Carmen Murias strongly believes that Aesthetic medicine should be a well-being-creator tool for this subpopulation of survivors.
Dr. Carmen also promotes a healthy lifestyle that may impact their physical and emotional well-being. Usually, patients with healthy eating practices have exhibited an improvement in their quality of life.
Because of increased ageing and the disruption of patient body image, an aesthetic approach can minimize their ageing symptoms, whilst their body image can certainly benefit their appearance and self-love; leading to a better self-assurance and improved self-esteem.
Therefore, Aesthetic medicine can not only be utilised to help them physically, but also emotionally too. Dr. Carmen’s mission is to cultivate a new vision that allows the people in vital need of a holistic approach to increase their satisfaction and overall well-being.