BRAVE Ambassador Adrienne Papa
Adrienne Papa was diagnosed with a malignant Phyllodes Tumor in her breast in 2014. This is a very rare diagnosis that accounts for less than 2% of all breast cancers. Immediate removal of the tumor, along with a partial mastectomy, was performed with 36 rounds of radiation followed. Reconstruction through a latissimus dorsi flap and an implant were performed. Five years later, the breast became increasingly painful because of the after effects of the radiation on the implant. A surgery was performed to remove the implant, clean out the scar tissue and replace with another implant. The healing of the radiated skin did not go well and the skin went necrotic. Another partial mastectomy was performed but the skin would not heal and the sutures continued to open up. In January of 2020, Dr. Amir Ghaznavi of the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, Florida performed a DIEP reconstruction. The entire breast and tissue were removed and a new breast was built out of her abdomen skin and tissue. Dr. Ghaznavi removed the blood vessels
in Adrienne's abdomen and reattached them to her chest wall to get blood flow. It was a VERY long surgery, but she now has a normal looking breast made out of her abdomen tissue with no need for an implant. Dr. Ghaznavi was amazing in giving Adrienne back the active lifestyle that she has always loved to live.
Adrienne is a marathon runner and an Ironman Triathlete. She lives and her three kids in South Florida.