Lumpectomy vs mastectomy, immediate vs delayed reconstruction

SamsunSamsun Member Posts: 1
This is my first post here on the BCNA onlinenetwork. I felt a lump 3 weeks ago, mammogram/US followed by core biopsy and breast MRI... now confirmed invasive ductal carcinoma with a size of 36x29x19mm... still have thousands of emotions going through my mind... been healthy all my life up to now and never thought it would happen to me...
seeing my breast surgeon tomorrow to discuss my MRI results, then surgical plan... i guess I will have to choose what to have if options were available... being a mother of a 6 year old daughter, I guess I should go for the option with the lowest recurrence rate and fastest recovery... would like to hear from you for advices on such a decision making...


  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,211
    Hi Samsun. We have a breast reconstruction group you could join to help with decision making etc. It includes photos by many ladies of their surgery and results.

    I chose a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction with tissue expanders and matrix sling and had a changeover later. I chose this due to aggressive nature of my tumour, the positioning which would have meant disfiguring and then need for surgery on other breast to try to match. Also my tumour went undetected due to breast density on mammogram. And I feared if it did recur ut might not be found until too late.

    You can choose a lumpectomy now and then take time during chemo (if thats why the recommend) to decide if you will just have radiotherapy or go onto reconstruction. It can give you time to do gene testing etc to determine risk of a second primary if you have a faulty gene. 

    No answer it right or wrong just different choices and not always easy to make.  Kath. X
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,482

    Welcome to the network - sorry you have to be here, but I hope you will find it helpful. The shock is considerable. Unfortunately you will then have to make some decisions while that shock is still very much with you. It will be a little easier once you know details of your diagnosis and also what your surgeon recommends - cancer is very very variable, and what is recommended will depend on many things. Naturally your daughter is going to be very much in your mind, but you may also want to consider the following:

    Your surgeon will recommend first of all the things best suited to reduce your risk of spread or recurrence, which is what we all want. You don't have to make decisions about reconstruction immediately - you can of course, but many women don't. Depending on your plan, you may have to factor surgery, possibly chemo, possibly radiation. These all take time - to have and to recover.

    It's not just your body that needs time to recover - so do your emotions. We all recognise that thought - it could never happen to me. Part of recovery (and lots of us do recover!) is accepting a new reality - that stuff happens for no particular reason - and not letting that fear rule our lives. Cancer can be hard going - but it can also be empowering in a weird way.

    You will need a team - your surgeon, your oncologist and you are in this together - so talk as much as you can. Ask questions. Ask them, ask people here! Trust with your medical team is essential. Don't talk to Dr Google - cancer is confusing enough, and that quasi medico will do your head in!!

    I am marking 5 years after diagnosis, with so far no evidence of disease - there does come a time when it all seems a long time ago. Very best wishes.

  • melclaritymelclarity Member Posts: 3,069
    @samsun welcome to you! 

    There are many options, but from what you said you've had a core biopsy? until you have a lumpectomy you unfortunately wont get your definitive pathology of exactly what you have and then what treatment options will be. I know how hard it is, please let us know how you go tomorrow with your Surgeon, as you'll have more of an idea whats next. Hang in there Melinda xo
  • onemargieonemargie queenslandMember Posts: 1,092
    Hi there @Samsun I was 43 last year but with grown up kids when I was diagnosed stage 2a grade 3 (3cm tumor) triple negative bc left boob may last year. No lymph node involvement all scans clear.  I chose to have a mastectomy. I could of just had a lumpectomy but would of had to have chemo and radiation so i decided to take it off and just have chemo. Then I took the right boob off 6 months later as a prophylaxis measure. No regrets from me with either decision just waiting for recon now but that will be at least another 2 years away thanks to the wait times. You can also sometimes chose an immediate recon depending on your circumstances and what your surgeon says. Hope this helps. Margie xx
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