The Best Places to Take a Stroll in Charleston

 Between the history, warm weather, and charming Southern-town feel, Charleston, South Carolina, is a wonderful place to visit. In fact, it’s been voted the #1 city to travel to in the United States by multiple travel and leisure publications.

If you’ve never been to Charleston or are planning a trip here in the next few weeks, you’re in luck! We’re just about to enter one of the best seasons in Charleston—springtime.

With warm temperatures, beautiful gardens in bloom, and increased amount of water activity on the coastline, the city of Charleston comes alive during the spring months.

There’s so much to do and so much to see that we thought we’d highlight a few of our favorite places to take a stroll in this beautiful city.

Be sure to put at least one of these places on your list during your trip…

Battery & White Point Gardens

Located in Charleston’s historic district, this landmark provides a spectacular view of Fort Sumter and the Charleston Harbor. It was first used as a public garden in 1837. With the outbreak of the Civil War, it became a fortification for the city.

If you’re a history buff, you’ll definitely enjoy checking out the old Civil War cannons located throughout the park along with a gazebo-style bandstand from 1907. Statues and memorials are also located throughout the park and give visitors a chance to learn a little about the history of the area.

Ocean views, large shady oak trees, and oyster shell pathways make this park a beautiful place your entire family can enjoy.

Find out more.

The Old City Market

The Old City Market is known as the cultural heart of the city of Charleston.

As one of the nation’s oldest public markets, this market plays a leading role in the preservation of American history. Bringing your family out to the market to shop for a day is almost like taking a step back into history.

At the market, you can shop, eat, or just enjoy the ambiance of the city as you stroll down the streets.

Find out more.

Folly Beach

Travel 15 miles from downtown Charleston and you’ll find beautiful Folly Beach.

Its large beaches—a hot spot for surfing–eclectic neighborhoods, and community of locally owned restaurants and shops make it the perfect place to explore, unwind, and rest with your family.

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, we highly recommend you talk a walk on the beach.  There’s a good chance you’ll be able to spot loggerhead turtles, dolphins, bald eagles, and various types of sea birds.

Find out more.

Magnolia Plantation & Gardens

If you love strolling through gardens, smelling the roses, and identifying countless varieties of flowers, trees, and shrubs, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens is the place for you.

Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has been around for centuries. This incredible estate has witnessed everything from the American Revolution through the Civil War and beyond.

It’s also the oldest public tourist site in the Lowcountry and the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870. Every day hundreds of people visit to view the thousands of beautiful flowers and plants in its famous gardens.

Find out more.

Do you have a favorite place to stroll around in Charleston?

Share in the comments below!

Back to School: How to Keep Your Kids Focused

<alt="School Desks"/>In an age of instant gratification, it’s never been more difficult to get people to focus. Many adults have a hard time staying on track without distraction from phone notifications, email alerts, and people competing for our attention. Imagine how difficult it is for children and young adults in school to stay focused.

Youths today love their gadgets because these small devices give them an escape from their environment and access to a bigger world. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this concept. If you were growing up in the 21st century, you’d love your smartphone and Internet just as much, too.

As adults, we can provide guidance and teach our youth lessons about self-control. We can also pass along what we know about responsibility, so our children can stay focused in and out of the classroom.

Here are a few ways you can make a difference in someone’s life and help them focus, achieve, and learn.

 

Nurture Their Interests

 

Even the most timid child opens up when you find out what they’re interested in. Everyone has a natural gravitation toward a certain subject, topic, or hobby. Once you find out what that is, you can “unlock” a young person’s motivation.

Finding out what someone is interested in is simply a matter of paying attention. People naturally crave attention. Think about all the status updates you see on social media about the most mundane things. It seems silly, but that’s a perfect example of how we all want people to listen to us.

When you nurture the interest of a child, you can watch them develop the thing they like doing most. As I’m sure you know, it’s much easier to stay focused when you’re doing something you enjoy.

 

Regularly Schedule Family Time

 

There’s nothing more important than having a safe place to talk, share, and be yourself. Your home and your family is the best support you can provide for your child. Scheduling regular family time each evening keeps a consistent environment in place that nurtures you and your family, both physically and mentally.

For example, you could make 6-8 p.m. strictly family time. This means turning off the smartphones, TV, and any other distracting devices. Make it a time for a non-rushed dinner, conversation, and a family activity.

 

Keep Them Active

 

Kids get in trouble when they don’t have anything to do. A way to free a child from boredom is to keep them active in groups, sports, or activities. Not only will this keep them from getting in trouble, but they’ll also live healthier lives, develop social skills, and learn the importance of teamwork.

In a nation where obesity rates get worse each year, it’s important to keep your child physically engaged with at least one thing each day. Aim for 30-60 minutes of physical activity every day. It’s much easier to stay fit and healthy as you age if you learn the fundamentals of exercising as a child. Plus, when your child stays active, they can focus better on their schoolwork.

These are just a few ways you can promote focus and attention for your child. Do you have any of your own you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: Night Owl City

Last-Minute Weekend Activities Before The Summer Ends

<alt="sail boat"/>Are you the type of person who likes to eat every last crumb on the plate, drink the last drop of milk, or watch a movie until the credits finish?

If so, then you like to get the most value out of any given situation. While most people do a decent to good job at saving time and maximizing money, people like you do it better.

With this short guide below, you can make the most of your time and money and squeeze every last drop out of the Charleston summer!

Here are several ways to enjoy last-minute weekend trips in the area before the summer ends.

Ride the Waves

Surfing, like skydiving, is one of those “bucket list” activities everyone wants to try, but few take the time to do. The benefits of surfing include getting exercise, having fun, and immersing yourself in the beach culture. Don’t waste another minute procrastinating by thinking about surfing — get yourself a board, head out to Folly Beach, and hit the water while you can.

With one-on-one lessons as low as $45, you can consider yourself a surfer by the end of the day. You’ll learn ocean awareness and safety, surfing etiquette (which includes more than calling people “dude”), and enjoy one full hour of guided wave riding fun.

Surf on over to this website for more info about Charleston Surf Lessons.

Become a Prisoner!

And no, we don’t mean you commit a crime and literally get yourself in trouble. That would not be fun and it would totally ruin your summer …and winter, spring, and fall. We’d like to suggest something that’s almost as scary, yet much safer.

If exploring Charleston dungeons appeal to you, then you’ll love the Charleston Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour. During this guided walkthrough of historical cemeteries, alleyways, and churches, you’ll learn about the criminals, pirates, and patriots who once spent time behind bars—and if you listen closely, you may realize they’re still there…

This tour is available until November; the ghosts in these dungeons are like bears, so during winter, they like to hibernate.

Scare yourself with a Charleston Ghost and Dungeon Walking Tour.

Go On an Adventure

Before summer ends, you still have time to pack your bags, tent, and camping supplies and head out to the great outdoors. Summer is the perfect time to experience the wilderness because the weather’s just right. No matter if you take your entire family or you go with friends, South Carolina has 47 state parks for you to choose from.

With this handy website, you can search and choose a camping ground that meets your exact needs.

Live It Up

Take a moment and think about one thing you can do for yourself and your family this summer. It doesn’t have to be one of these recommendations — you may have your own activites planned for transitioning from the warm summer days to the cool autumn nights. Maybe you’ll rotate what you’re growing in your garden. Maybe you’ll take a trip. Maybe you’ll redecorate your home, or even try a new sport. Whatever you do, live it up this summer. It’ll be an entire year before she returns.

Photo Credit: globetraveler2

Date Night in Charleston: Romantic Spots for Two

<alt="red rose"/>You don’t need to go to Paris to experience a city of romance. If you know where to look, Charleston has all the warmth, love, and coziness you need. Maybe the heart of Charleston beats stronger because of the city’s rich history. Or perhaps it’s the culture of the city that makes visitors welcome each other with open arms. Whatever the reason, there are many places to go, things to see, and experiences to share with your special someone in Charleston.

 

In this post, we’ll look at some popular — and some hidden — places to go to have a fun and unique date (on a related note, our top 5 restaurants and bars post may serve you well on date night).

 

You may have heard of the recommendations on this post before, but you just haven’t had the time to pursue them. Let this list below be your motivation to get out there and share a day of fun or evening of romance with someone special.

 

Cocktails By the Fireplace

 

If you like this idea of sipping your favorite drink next to your favorite person, while enjoying the warmth of a cozy fireplace, then you’ll love this recommendation. A little investigative research on Google and Yelp will uncover many cozy evening bars.

 

Want to save time searching? No problem. We found this place that we believe provides the perfect date night. It has a fireplace you can snuggle up next to, and a dimly lit setting to relax in.

 

Be sure to call in McCrady’s in advance to research your seat. They also have an online reservation tool, so you have no excuse not to plan ahead for this special place.

 

Celebrate New Milestones

 

In a relationship, new milestones can mean different things. It could mean getting married, moving in together, or eating at a new restaurant. With this upcoming recommendation, you can surprise your partner by saying you want to celebrate something BIG.

 

Chances are, they’ll look at you confused. But when you tell them you want to have drinks and enjoy the skyline and harbor views at the Market Pavilion Hotel, they’ll likely laugh at your corny joke. Laughter and good times will continue when you enjoy the charming rooftop bar and pool area while sipping a cocktail as you the two of you watch the sun go down. Plus – the Market Pavilion Hotel earned a number 1 ranking as the best small city hotel in the U.S. and Canada. What could be better? Your sweetheart will love your venue choice.

 

Walk the Path of Love

 

Take a break from the stoplights and city noise and reconnect with nature. You and you partner deserve it. Surround yourself with majestic oaks and ancient beauty at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, a place where you can tune out from the city and tune in to each other.

 

Best Dates Charleston Facebook Page

 

On this Best Dates Charleston Facebook page, you will find regular updates about things to do in Charleston. We love lesser known yet valuable links like this. Do you have any to share? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Live and Love in Charleston

Did you know Travel and Leisure magazine rated Charleston the 10th best city in the world for romance? Personally, we think it’s the #1 city, but we’ll take the 10th place IN THE WORLD. We love how the magazine says, “Every corner seems to stage a proposal-worthy scene, form the Battery with its moss-draped oaks and antebellum mansions to Waterfront Park’s picturesque Cooper River views.”

 

We completely agree with that statement – and we know you do too.

 

Photo Credit: Parvin

September: Charleston Events Roundup

<alt="arial act"/>The year is almost over! Time goes by quickly when you’re having fun, right? Thanks to these exciting Charleston events for September, it will be October before you know it. Don’t miss these opportunities to have some fun!

 

September 1: Beating the Surf

Join Capt. Ben Floyd at 6:30 p.m. at the Mt. Pleasant shop, as he covers everything from rod & reel selection, to bait and tackle, to which tides work in your favor. Surf Fishing is a great way to get anglers of all ages catching fish. Whether it’s bull redfish or bull sharks, the surf has it all.

Come enjoy a few drinks, learn some new skills and enjoy 10% off everything during the night of the seminar.

To register, please e-mail jj@thecharlestonangler.com. For more information, please visit this website.  

 

September 2, 7, 9, 14, 17, 21, 26, 30: Sherlock Holmes and the Charleston History Mystery

Join Sherlock Holmes for an Historical City Tour truly for everyone — where without ever leaving your theatre seat you will explore Charleston’s past, present, and … other worlds. Should you choose to volunteer, you may actually participate and play a victim, villain, or vile vision in The Case of Sherlock Holmes and the Charleston History Mystery!

$24 Adults, $22 College/Military, $15 Children 12 and Under.

Please see the website for showtimes and to purchase tickets.

 

September – Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Evenings in the Market

The weekly event, designed to showcase local artists, food vendors and designers, is from 6:30-10:30 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from March through December.

For additional information, please visit this website.  

 

September 6: Downward Facing RiverDog

Come and enjoy some yoga at the Joe! International Yoga Instructor, Kathryn Budig, will be at the Joe teaching some yoga moves on the field. Gates open at 9 a.m. Yoga on the field is from 10-11 a.m. There will be free parking, live music by Estee Gabay and a cash bar featuring mimosas and bloody marys. All levels are welcome. The class will be playful and enjoyable for all. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

For more information, please visit the website.  

 

September – Every Wednesday: Fall Wine Strolls

Sip and stroll in a different garden location each week while sampling old and new world wines. The season ends with a Masquerade Wine Stroll Finale on October 29!

Time: 6 – 8 p.m.

Cost: $20/online, $25/gate ($5 off for Foundation members).

For more information, please visit the website.

 

September 14: Dance with Dragons

The 2nd Annual Dance with Dragons offers a beautiful evening of outdoor circus arts performances including hooping, acroyoga, serial silks, slacklining, and juggling playshops. Spectate, play, perform, gawk, share, and make new friends. You might be tempted to run away to the circus afterwards!

This year’s even benefits Dragon Boat Charleston, a non-profit that promotes physical and mental wellness among local cancer survivors and their community.

4:00 p.m .- 8:00 p.m.

$5 for adults, kids attend free.

For more information, please visit the website.

 

September 20: 2014 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. Held annually in more than 650 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions. The Charleston walk will take place at the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina.

Registration at 8:00 a.m. | Ceremony at 8:45 a. m. | Walk at 9:00 a.m.

Route Length: 3 miles.

To register, please visit the website.

 

September 19-21: 7th Annual Autumn on the Ashley

The Tri-County Master Gardeners will host the 7th Annual Autumn on the Ashley open-air craft fair Sept. 19-21 at Magnolia. More than 50 vendors are expected to exhibit wood cravings, paintings, textiles, pottery, jewelry, culinary oils, and photographs. The Philip Simmons Artists Blacksmith Guild will demonstrate their craft while dancers entertain the crowd.

Autumn on the Ashley, which is free to the public, opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. A $100 vendor fee will be charged for a vendor booth space to display handcrafted items. No retail items will be allowed. Vendors are responsible for their own pop-up tent, tables and chairs. Vendors who require electricity are encouraged to register early. Eight spaces with electricity are available.

The Master Gardeners will answer gardening questions and provide soil samples. The cost for a soil analysis is $6 each. Call 843-722-5940 to get tips on how to collect a sample. Plants and gardening books will be on sale.

For information and to reserve a booth, call Magnolia’s operations manager Mary Ann Johnson at 843-571-1266, extension 229. You can also visit this website.

The Best Low Country Beaches

<alt="woman at the beach"/>Did you know: Charleston was the winner of the 2013 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award for “Top City in the United States.”

We love our city. It has great shopping, a fun nightlife scene, plenty of delicious restaurant options—and we especially love catching rays on our beautiful beaches!

Summertime is in full swing, so why not spend this weekend enjoying the sand and ocean breezes on one of Charleston’s award-winning beaches? Here are the most popular spots for having some fun in the sun around Charleston:

Sullivan’s Island

Sullivan’s Island is known for its family-friendly and relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. If you’re looking for a place to take your family and loved ones for a weekend of sunshine, South Carolina history, and Low Country dining. Tourists and locals love Sullivan’s Island for its beautiful scenery, friendly environment, and spacious beaches.

Isle of Palms

If you’re looking for a place that’s one-of-a-kind and full of activities the entire family will enjoy, look no further than Isle of Palms. You’ll find virtually every activity you can think of to enjoy on your vacation or day off on Isle of Palms—and it’s only 12 miles away from downtown Charleston! The Isle of Palms beaches are clean, safe, and even feature a designated swimming area and family park that you and your kids can enjoy throughout the entire summer.

Kiawah Island

Kiawah Island is a private beach community with undisturbed scenic views, natural beauty, and forests rich with pine trees, magnolias, and oaks. This Island is only accessible to owners and guests of the resort or rental properties, but it also features a publicly accessible beach area at Beachwalker County Park. Travel to Kiawah and you’ll enjoy the 10 miles of stunning beach that Travel Channel has named one of the country’s “Top Ten” beaches to visit.

Seabrook Island 

Seabrook Island is another private destination located nearly 22 miles south of downtown Charleston. Residents and rental guests enjoy Seabrook’s gorgeous, pristine Atlantic beaches. The laid-back atmosphere and stunning shorelines make for an unforgettable South Carolina experience for all who visit and reside on this special island.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach is truly one of South Carolina’s hidden treasures. Conveniently located just 15 minutes away from historic Charleston, this barrier island is the home of surfing, rich Low Country history, the Morris Island Lighthouse, and delicious South Carolina fare. Guests can visit the Folly Beach County Park and enjoy amenities like outdoor showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and much more. Bring the entire family to Folly Beach for a wonderful weekend of sun and fun on “The Edge of America.”

Ready to plan your next beach getaway in Charleston? Click here to get more information about our favorite local vacation spots.

The Holy City’s Historic Churches

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Photo courtesy of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.

As one of the oldest cities in the United States, Charleston  abounds with historic architecture and breathtaking sites. Its many historic churches that grace the skyline are the reason for the city’s nickname as “The Holy City.”

Regardless of religious affiliation or denomination, millions of visitors flock to Charleston every year to see the majestic steeples and spires that adorn the city. Many of these churches offer tours certain days of the week so you can explore the intricacies of these incredible sites.

When visiting Charleston, here are some of the historic churches that are sure to fill you with wonder:

Bethel Methodist Church: The Bethel Methodist Church is the third oldest church in Charleston and has remained in its current location since 1880. The church was originally constructed in the gabled meetinghouse style with white clapboards based on a design by Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop in the United States. Membership in the congregation of Old Bethel was open to both free blacks and slaves, which adds to this church’s incredible historic significance. Bethel was the only Methodist Charleston historic church that remained open during the Civil War, and it survived the earthquake of 1886 intact. Although there have been interior alterations, the exterior has been well preserved.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist: The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is a magnificent brownstone cathedral built on the foundation of the 1854 cathedral that burned down in the Charleston Fire of 1861. Over each entrance are unique stained-glass windows, including the Papal coat of arms and the seal of the state of South Carolina. In the nave you’ll find 14 large two-light windows, representing the Life of Christ from His Nativity to the Ascension. Above the high altar is a five-light window representing Leonardo DaVinci’s “Last Supper.”

The Circular Congregational Church: The Circular Congregational Church, a National Historic Landmark, is one of the few examples in Charleston of the adaptation of the Romanesque style that was made popular by architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The Church, which was constructed in 1892, is an excellent example of this architectural style in its broad roof plane, ribbons of windows and openings, short tower, and large arched entryway. Charleston’s original settlers founded this protestant, or dissenting, church in 1681, though its earliest meeting house was destroyed by fire in 1861. The graveyard is the city’s oldest burial grounds with monuments dating from 1695.

First Scots Presbyterian Church: First Scots Presbyterian Church, the fifth oldest church in Charleston, was constructed in 1814. The massive brick Presbyterian Church has walls that are three feet thick and covered with stucco. Reflecting the heritage of the congregation, the seal of the Church of Scotland is displayed in the stained glass window over the main entrance, and the decorative wrought iron grilles portray thistles, the symbol of Scotland.

The French Huguenot ChurchThe French Huguenot Church, a National Historic Landmark, is the third church to be constructed on this site. Completed in 1845, it was the first Gothic Revival building constructed in Charleston. The stucco over brick Huguenot church is ornamented with windows, buttresses, and decorative details typical of the Gothic Revival. The use of iron for many of these decorative details was unusual, but reflects the difficulty of obtaining carved stonework during the antebellum period in Charleston. Today it remains unaltered—even the clear glass windows are original.

 

Which of these historic churches have you visited before? Share your experience in the comments below!

Pooch-Friendly Places in Charleston

Dogs in Charleston Now that spring is in full bloom, why not make your days out in the Charleston sunshine even brighter by bringing along your four-legged friend?

From Bark Parks to one of Charleston’s most charming bakeries, you and you pup are in for a treat! Just take a look at this short guide to plan a day-trip on the town for you and your pup:

Isle of Palms Bark Park: Let you pooch off the leash to socialize with other happy mutts at the Isle of Palms Bark Park. The Bark Park is a safe, open place where you can meet and mingle with other dog owners while your pup parties. Remember that dog parks require current vaccinations and that you keep an eye on your friend throughout your stay!

Hampton Park: Hampton Park is one of Charleston’s largest parks and boasts a beautiful old rose collection—just the key to invigorating your senses. Take your pup for a scenic stroll along its peaceful fitness trail where you’ll see a variety of Lowcountry trees. It’s the perfect destination for a relaxing day out with your fluffy companion.

Sugar Bakeshop: Sugar Bakeshop is located on Cannon Street in downtown Charleston, just off the beaten path. If you haven’t discovered this new sweet spot, it’s time to check it out! Owners Bill Bowick and David Bouffard have transplanted themselves to Charleston from New York City. And better yet, they came bearing treats to share for all. Renowned for its Lady Baltimore cupcakes and Huguenot tortes, this bite-sized bakery even has gourmet dog treats for your pampered pooch! Enjoy your dessert in the beautiful walled garden with your four-legged friend!

Holy City Brewing: Holy City Brewing is one of Charleston’s favorite breweries—and your dog will love it, too.Take a tour of the brewery, and enjoy a hoppy German pilsner in the Holy City Brewing’s tasting room with Fido at your side!

Inn at Middleton Place: Visiting a quaint South Carolina bed and breakfast can be even more fun if your best friend can join, too!Luckily, the Inn at Middleton Place isn’t only a favorite local Bed & Breakfast—it’s also pet-friendly for companions under 50 pounds. Located on a scenic plantation with beautiful landscaping and views, the Inn will steal your heart with its endless hospitality. The breakfast buffet is one of renown, and you can enjoy long walks around the historic grounds with your pooch.

 

For a complete list of public venues where you can bring your pooch along, click here.

Exploring Charleston’s Gardens

 

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens

photo courtesy of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens website.

Charleston’s trademarks are its Antebellum history and Lowcountry beauty. And when you experience its many plantations and gardens, you get the best of both worlds!

Spring is the perfect time to take in Charleston’s flourishing natural world, starting with these historic and breathtaking gardens. Pack a lunch, and bring the family along!

Boone Hall Gardens: Boone Hall is one of the most stunning sites Charleston has to offer. Between its sprawling mansion, live oak trees, and Spanish moss draped paths, the entrance to this charming plantation alone is worth the trip! Take a self-guided garden tour, and see the many various plants, flowers, and trees that are currently growing in the beautiful gardens on the front lawn. Be sure to stop and smell the gorgeous antique roses that are over 100 years old.

Cypress Gardens: Travel to Berkeley County’s Cypress Gardens for the utmost adventure and wildlife in one outing! Visitors from all over the country come to experience Cypress Gardens’ magical grounds, gardens, greenhouse, and swamparium. Enjoy picturesque views along 3.5 miles of walking and hiking trails, which loop through the swamp and gardens. The peak azaleas bloom by the month’s end, and while you take in the beautiful wildflowers, you can also spot yellow-throated warblers, red-shouldered hawks, and Carolina chickadees.

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens: Founded in 1676 by the Drayton family, Magnolia Plantation has the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870. The gardens at Magnolia Plantation are of such beauty and variety that they have brought tourists from around the world to view them. Today there are thousands of flowers to take in—from camellias, daffodils, and azaleas to countless other species in bloom year round.

Hampton Plantation State Park: Tucked away among live oaks and magnolias, Hampton Plantation State Historic Siteis home to the remains of a colonial-era rice plantation. Take in the splendor and history of this scenic site during an easy hike along the nature trail loop. You’ll take in several ecosystems and discover how the landscape and wildlife changed over the 250 years this land has been known as Hampton Plantation.

Which of Charleston’s unforgettable gardens is your favorite to visit?

Does Fat Necrosis Make It More Difficult To Detect Cancerous Tumors?

Will a fatty necrosis make it more difficult to detect any new formations of cancer?

 The following question is answered by  Richard Kline of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.

Q: I am a  7-year Stage I breast cancer survivor.   I’ve had lumpectomy and radiation, with no chemotherapy.

Three years ago, had a bilateral breast reduction. Six months later, developed nipple retraction and a mass. General surgeon (who follows me for BC) was concerned at first and biopsied it twice. The results were negative.  Mammograms have been reported as within normal limits.  

My plastic surgeon (who did the reduction) would like to have yearly MRI’s because he said eventually, this mass will start to calcify, most likely keeping me flagged for biopsies. The general surgeon disagrees and feels it’s been biopsied twice and he would not do any more unless my mammogram changed.

My concern is that this fatty necrosis will hide any new cancer that may form. It’s pretty big area approx. 7.5cmx5cm.  My new internist is not happy with this area and wants me to see another surgeon. So my question is: will this make seeing any new cancer form harder? Is my risk for more necrosis higher if I have it removed since this was the radiated breast and that is what caused the necrosis in the first place? My original surgeon suggested a mastectomy to be 100% sure that nothing would ever get missed. I will be seeing new surgeon next week and would like to have some ideas before I go. I have no problem with another lumpectomy or even a mastectomy if needed.

 

A:  I’m sorry to hear you’re having so much trouble.

It’s outside of my area of expertise to advise you whether calcifications from fat necrosis can mask a tumor recurrence, but I just called our breast imaging radiologist and asked. She said fat necrosis definitely makes imaging “more challenging,” and you may require ultrasound and/or MRI in addition to mammography in the future, should you choose to leave the mass in place.

I CAN advise you that the risk for wound healing problems (including more fat necrosis) is certainly higher in a radiated breast, so the answer to the second part of your question is yes, you could end up with additional fat necrosis after surgery.

Even a mastectomy will not reduce your risk of another cancer to zero, as some breast cells are frequently left behind, but it will reduce your risk significantly. We would be happy to put you in touch with one of our surgical oncologists who specializes in breast disease, if you would like to get more specific information about risk reduction.

Hope this helps, and feel free to call or email with any more questions.

 

Richard M. Kline, Jr., MD

Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction

 Have a question about breast reconstruction you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask us!