Aspirus Media Center

Mandy's Journey: Taking Control of Her Health Through Preventative Surgery

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Mandy, Breast Reconstruction Patient at Aspirus Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics

In a world filled with uncertainties, one woman, Mandy, embarked on a remarkable journey to take control of her health.


Mandy had a family history with breast cancer, which caused her to start preventative screening at a young age. She met with professionals that explained paths such as surgical and medication options.


Mandy recalls, “at the time, to be honest, I thought that surgery sounded a little invasive for what I need, and I was really comfortable having the screening every six months.”


However, as she delved deeper into her medical history, she uncovered a genetic mutation which started to shift her thinking and, in the fall of 2022, she began exploring a preventative mastectomy with Elizabeth Renaker-Jansen, DO, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon with Aspirus Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics.


“When I first met with Mandy we talked about her different options. I explained that with further testing, we would be able to determine the most optimal course of action for her based on her results and combined risk factors,” shared Dr. Renaker-Jansen.


In February of 2023, Mandy had an MRI which revealed a mass in the left breast.


“After the MRI, I discussed with Mandy what her options would be if the mass was cancerous or if it was benign. We conducted a biopsy and later that week discovered it was benign,” states Dr. Renaker-Jansen.


Through the emotional roller coaster of finding out, it brought her clarification about what she desired to do about her future.


“Discovering it was benign was the biggest relief ever, but it also brought me to the conclusion I was 100 percent ready to have a mastectomy and breast reconstruction,” says Mandy.


The surgery marked a significant milestone in Mandy's journey. She says, “I chose to do the reconstruction after the mastectomy because I really wanted to look like myself after this was all over.”


Mandy’s journey was not without its physical challenges, but her extensive research and unwavering support of her family, especially her loving husband and children, gave her the strength to overcome. Her family and medical team played crucial roles in her success. Their support and guidance were instrumental in helping her navigate the emotional and physical challenges she faced.


“My family was incredible; my husband and five kids were my biggest support. They pitched in where they could, and I couldn’t have done it without them,” says Mandy. “Dr. Renaker-Jansen was so patient and wonderful. I felt like I had a million questions, and she and her team were always happy to answer every single one.”


As she looks back on her journey, Mandy offers words of inspiration to those who find themselves at a crossroads. She encourages them to ask questions, seek knowledge, and remain curious in the face of life-changing decisions.


Mandy says, “If you are considering breast reconstruction, just listen to your body, ask lots of questions, and remember to surround yourself with people that love you and doctors you trust.”


Mandy's journey is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of resilience and hope.


Plastic surgeons play an integral role in the comprehensive cancer care of patients and can help restore what cancer has taken away. To learn more about plastic surgery and aesthetic options at Aspirus, visit or call 715-870-2162.


Aspirus Plastic Surgery & Aesthetics is located at 1901 Westwood Center Boulevard in Wausau, Wisconsin with some providers now offering outreach in Rhinelander and Plover.




Back to all Posts