CONNECTICUT DOCTOR WORKS TO RAISE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

Mark Melendez Press

Mark Melendez is a busy man, but especially come October.

According to the National Cancer Institute, Connecticut has among the highest incidence of breast cancer in the country. And it is here that he practices plastic and reconstructive surgery and is on the board of Susan G. Komen Southern New England, the local arm of an international breast cancer charity.

With offices in Shelton and Fairfield — the latter of which celebrated its one-year anniversary in September — Melendez performs a spectrum of procedures for the face, hand, body and breast, including the DIEP Flap procedure, which uses a patient’s own tissue, as well as facial rejuvenation like Botox and fillers.

“It’s very satisfying to see a patient going through a transformation, whether it’s for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons,” Melendez says. “The reconstructive side is where we’re shaping or providing tissue to a defect, whereas with cosmesis, we’re enhancing someone’s well-being aesthetically, which impacts their state of mind, their self-confidence and their outlook on life.”

For the past three years, since finishing his fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Melendez has been particularly interested in — and inspired by — helping men and women with breast cancer. Philanthropically, much of his efforts are focused on improving patient access to quality breast care.

“Breast cancer is multifactorial,” Melendez says. “Age is a factor. Family history is a factor. Gene mutation is a factor. But I think that since the implementation of Obama Care, the Affordable Health Care Act, we’ve seen more patients, the uninsured medical patients, being diagnosed and treated with breast cancer.”

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