Lauren Book's Stolen Breast Cancer Surgery Photos
- Florida Senator Lauren Book underwent a lumpectomy and she shared photos of her post-surgery scar with a friend. These photos were later stolen from her.
- A lumpectomy is the surgical removal of a portion – or “lump” – of breast tissue.
- Screening for breast cancer is done via mammogram; if you’re a woman between 45 and 54 and you’re overdue for your annual mammogram, schedule it today.
Lauren Book runs a nonprofit to help victims of abuse, and she’s a wife and mom, too. The Hollywood, Florida native has spoken openly about being sexually abused as a child, so to have another incidence of abuse – stolen photos, among them nude photos, and the thief extorting her – is heartbreaking. “During the investigation, she learned that the images had been bought and traded online since 2020,” reports The New York Post.Read More
While this devastating and intrusive event likely will leave a lasting impact, the news of it can hopefully lead to some good: Shining a light on the process of a lumpectomy, and also changing legislation for future, similar incidents going forward.
What is a Lumpectomy?
A lumpectomy is the surgical removal of a portion – or “lump” – of breast tissue. It’s used as a treatment for breast cancer. Other breast cancer treatments include other surgeries like a mastectomy, chemotherapy, or radiation.
In an earlier interview, Dr. Sarah Cate, a breast surgeon at Mount Sinai, explains this procedure. She says, “So lumpectomy versus mastectomy is a choice. As a surgeon, it’s my job to find out what a patient’s background is, what are their beliefs? What are their expectations? How will they feel after the surgery?”
Dr. Cate emphasizes the need to learn about the patient before determining the next course of action. She looks for answers, like, “Do they have debilitating fear about breast cancer because they have a strong family history of breast cancer? And what will ultimately be the right choice for them? Even if you do remove the breast (in the case of Lauren Book she just had the tumor removed), you may not be increasing your lifespan.”
“And it’s a much bigger surgery, much longer recovery, and there’s really not a lot of benefit to it. So as a breast surgeon,” says Dr. Cate, “my job is to review that data with them, and to help them understand that their long-term survival with mastectomy is equivalent to that with lumpectomy and radiation.”
Screening for Breast Cancer
Screening for breast cancer is done with mammograms, and mammograms save lives. Early detection of breast cancer is crucial as it can mean broader treatment options as well. Women ages 45 to 54 with an average risk of breast cancer should get mammograms annually.
For women with an elevated risk of breast cancer – this means they either have a history of breast cancer in the family, or they have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation – they should begin screening even earlier, before age 45.
While getting a mammogram, ask about dense breasts, which may obscure cancer. The technician will be able to do determine whether or not you have dense breasts. It’s also a good idea to perform self-exams at home.