All posts by bcsurgery


We are delighted to report that we made our $18,000 Kickstarter goal to raise money to finish our book, “Breast Cancer Surgery & Reconstruction: What’s Best for You.”

The campaign is open through Thursday at:

Donations will allow us to visit some cutting-edge programs and photograph women in other states to make this truly a diverse book. Thanks for your support and encouragement. It’s so affirming and very much appreciated.


150 backers have given us $12,000. We are 2/3rds of the way there toward our $18,000 goal. It’s all or nothing: We raise that amount or don’t get a cent and no one is out a penny. So please tell others and answer their questions. Many don’t know publishers these days pay nothing or only a small token advance. Short of asking people for money, this book won’t be done. Thanks for believing in this project and us. We are grateful to all of you: family; friends;  kids’ friends and work colleagues; journalism and communication colleagues; tennis buddies; and everyone helping us create better health resources for women.

Inside the world of breast reconstruction

Inside the world of breast reconstruction
Inside the world of breast reconstruction

Markings like these often are made by plastic surgeons in pre-opt appointments to indicate their surgery plan. This woman, who has experienced continued problems three years after a double mastectomy with silicone implant reconstruction, recently underwent an implant exchange procedure. Her doctor told her that her implants had flipped upside down, causing them to get painful, rock-hard and wrinkled. We need your help to finish this book; you can contribute with this quick link:


Kickstarter campaign launches


JAN. 13 _ Two Detroit journalists, Patricia Anstett and Kathleen Galligan, are launching an online fundraising campaign today to raise $18,000 for their upcoming national book on breast cancer surgery and reconstruction.

The book, told and photographed through the lives of women who have faced these decisions, is scheduled for publication this year by Rowman & Littlefield.

Galligan is a two-time Emmy-award winning Detroit Free Press photographer diagnosed with breast cancer six months after she started working on the project. “If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody,” Galligan said. “This book is about choices.

A quarter-million American women, some very young, have these surgeries every year for breast cancer, often without much information or consideration. Many women say, ‘I wish I would have known’,” said Anstett, who has covered breast cancer extensively over a long newspaper career. “We hope our book gives women the information and insights they need. But we need your help.”

Donations to the month-long Kickstarter campaign will pay for reporting and photography across the country, including visits to top breast reconstruction centers.

For further information or to make a donation, go to

Take time, weigh options, says NBC’s Anne Thompson

AnnSaraNBC chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson greeted Sarah Erzen and her daughter, Katey, at the recent 10th annual benefit for two Henry Ford Health System breast cancer programs. Both Erzen, of Holt, MI, and Thompson were diagnosed with advanced stage three breast cancer tumors. Thompson encouraged women facing a breast cancer diagnosis to explore their options carefully, and to understand there’s no rush for reconstruction. Thompson underwent lumpectomy surgery, radiation and chemotherapy after her 2006 diagnosis. She saw no need for reconstruction or revision surgery to have two matching breasts. Thompson returned to work quickly after a week of crying and feeling terrified. She wore wigs and fake eye lashes to cover up what chemotherapy had taken. “I needed the work; I needed the distraction” during breast cancer treatment, she said, explaining why she returned to work quickly. The event at Detroit’s Ford Field was sponsored by the Detroit Lions.

Surviving breast cancer in pregnancy

Sara Erzen was 35 and in the second trimester of pregnancy when she found a lump in her breast. She underwent chemotherapy during the second trimester of her pregnancy and gave birth to a healthy baby girl in March. Her story will be told in our upcoming book. Here, with her oldest daughter, Katey Skerratt, 11, Erzen promoted breast cancer awareness at the 10th annual Henry Ford Health System luncheon to benefit the Josephine Ford Cancer Institute and the Francee & Benson Ford Jr. Breast Care and Wellness Center at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital. The event funds breast cancer technology improvements and other services at the two centers.

sara erzen