Written By: Melissa Jansen, Founding FCN Member & Author of I Don't Need Two
If we are to translate the silence surrounding breast cancer into language and action against this scourge, then the first step is that women with mastectomies must become visible to each other.
~ Audre Lorde
In the mastectomy world, the largest population of women who are flat choose a unilateral aesthetic flat closure reconstruction.
Some of the reasons (and possible benefits) of choosing a unilateral aesthetic flat closure reconstruction are:
Women retain the ability to breastfeed a child if they keep their healthy breast;
Women can retain the sexual stimulation from her remaining breast/nipple;
It is the least invasive option with less chance of needing more surgery;
A large number of countries with national healthcare systems do not allow for removal of a healthy breast.
It is important to have an idea of possible disadvantages that some women may feel if they choose a unilateral aesthetic flat closure while presenting as a one-breasted women (ie: not using a prosthetic), these include:
Possible problems with posture if the breast is rather large. (However, this can also happen with the use of a prosthetic);
A disadvantage with finding a bra that supports the remaining breast;
Worry that the cancer may come back in the healthy breast.
If I only have one breast am I still considered Flat? - - - The answer is YES.
Although a lot of women who consider themselves flat have bilateral mastectomies, you can still have one breast and be considered flat. Women who are living half-flat discourage the use of the word “lopsided” when speaking of the shape of their post bodies, preferring use of the more positive descriptive “asymmetric.” In the flat community, one-breasted women are often referred to as “half flat” or “unis”.
If half-flat women are the largest population of breast cancer survivors, why do we not see one-breasted women everywhere?
At Flat Closure NOW we believe that, if society really is concerned about “breast cancer awareness,” we need to advocate for women who feel they shouldn’t “have to hide” by being encouraged to wear a prosthetic. All breast cancer survivors have the right to feel good about their after cancer bodies, that includes women who choose a unilateral aesthetic flat closure (half-flat).
If you are thinking about choosing a unilateral aesthetic flat closure reconstruction you can join the Facebook support group “One Breasted Beauties.” The mission of this group is to create a societal norm, where one-breasted women do not need to hide that they are living half flat.
At Flat Closure NOW, we envision a world where one-breasted and breastless women are seen as normal and that clothing companies (instead of creating prosthetics) begin to make clothing specifically tailored for our post cancer flat bodies.