Anja Caspary was 50 when she got the shock diagnosis in 2015: Tumors in both breasts. The “radioeins” presenter decided to have an amputation, even though it was not medically necessary. Why she nevertheless took this drastic step and what it did to her, she tells in the Tikbow interview.
Tikbow: What made you decide to have both breasts removed?
Anja Caspary: "I really wanted to get better and I didn’t want to harm my body unnecessarily. The alternative would have been to have only the nodes removed from the breast. But then I would have needed radiation. This, in turn, is carcinogenic, because it not only damages cancer cells, but also healthy cells. I think that is totally absurd. I have the impression that &doctors want to preserve the breasts at all costs, because they believe that women cannot live without their breasts. However, I think that women should not be pushed in a certain direction, but should be shown all the possibilities."
Tikbow: How did your doctor take your decision?
"My doctor was silent at first when I told him in no uncertain terms: "I want you to take my breast off." I went there that day without my husband. I really wanted to avoid my doctor getting on his nerves, saying: "Surely you want your wife to keep her breasts? So my doctor couldn’t help himself and then said: "Well, if that’s what you want, we’ll do it;
Anja Caspary über Brustkrebs-Erfahrung: »Meine Brüste kamen mir wie Verräter vor
Tikbow: Why didn’t you want to have your breast reconstructed?
"My breasts were already quite fancy. My husband still liked them very much after all these years. But they had actually fulfilled their purpose. I nursed two children with my breasts. And to be honest, I didn’t really like my breasts anymore. They felt like maniacs to me. I always ate healthy, exercised, took no painkillers and no birth control pills, and then I get breast cancer in both breasts and don’t even notice it? This has significantly changed my relationship with my breasts. At the beginning I was also not quite clear what exactly is meant by breast reconstruction. You can do it with your own fat or by inserting silicone pads. The latter was completely out of the question for me. I will not have plastic placed under my skin. Breast augmentation with my own fat was not possible because I did not have enough of it. But I would not have done it anyway. Any surgery is a risk to the body. And if I can avoid it, I do it."
Tikbow: How did you feel before and after the surgery?
I cried a lot for my breasts the night before. In spite of everything, they were a part of me. After the operation I also cried a lot. But I had a lot of support in my family. My daughter said: "If you don’t have any breasts anymore and are really flat, you will look even more muscular. You will look like a real Amazon.” And my husband said: “It doesn’t matter if there are no more breasts. It doesn’t detract from your beauty.""
Tikbow: Have you ever regretted the surgery?
"Of course, it is not all that easy. Instead of breasts, you suddenly have scars. My scars go all the way across my chest. At first they were very bulging and red. At some point, however, that subsides. I still feel like a full woman. Nothing has changed in that respect. When I meet new people, I’ve never had the feeling that they stare at my chest and frown. I think most of them don’t even notice that I don’t have breasts. Or they think: "Poor thing, she doesn’t have much.""
»Sport is a lot more fun without the breasts;
Tikbow: So your confidence didn’t suffer?
"No, I still go to the sauna, I still do nudism. Sure, people look, but I don’t care. Maybe it’s even easier to show yourself in public without your breasts than with breasts that aren’t perfect and that you feel ashamed of. It also has its good points: nothing wobbles anymore, I never have to wear a bra again, and sports are much more fun without bras;
Tikbow: Do you really miss nothing?
"I couldn’t keep my nipples either because of the cancer. So with me, everything is gone – the nipples and with them the nerves that end in them. When I have an orgasm, I don’t feel anything there anymore. Of course I can have great orgasms without that stimulation, but I miss that already."
Tikbow: What advice do you have for other women?
If, like me, you have the choice between breast removal and radiation, you should think twice. Having both breasts removed is a drastic step. Insecure women or women who define their femininity through their breasts may be better off trying to preserve the breasts. In the end, you have to decide for yourself what is more important to you: health or breasts?"
Anja Caspary has written a moving book about her breast cancer experience and the most difficult time in her life: "There is a spear in my heart".