Nat wants to cut off her boobs for no reason

Scared MumScared Mum Member Posts: 165
Ok I'm back with another sticky situation Nat has gone 3 years with no reoccurrence but she has had major anxiety about cancer coming back, every twinge has been scanned and it's all come back all clear, her Brca test came back insignificant (not enough family history ) she told her breast surgeon this week she wants a double mastectomy she can't deal with the stress any more... she is 24 do I still nag her to wait for the 5 year clearance or just let her do this aaaahhh what are your thoughts???  
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  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,490
    I guess it's her body and her choice as hard as that is as a mother to accept. I totally understand it. My cancer wasn't detected in a mammogram 5 weeks before I found a lump. With my surgeon and family history the decision was for a bilateral mastectomy. Without it I would always fear a new primary or local recurrence could be happening and it would go undetected until it's too late. A bilateral mastectomy though doesn't prevent metastatic breast cancer occurring from her original cancer. As long as she understands this. 
    I didn't carry my father's side faulty gene. But my sister and her dsughter have both had breast cancer so our family is mapped. They described us "as yet unidentified gene"  As no current known cancer I haven't gone on to remove other girlie bits. My fathers side also had ovarian cancer, I was relieved to not have that gene. 
    I will always miss my breasts but don't regret the surgery.

    It's fairly normal to worry about all niggles and aches. If however it sucks the joy out if her life she may do well with some counselling to help her work through that. Kath x
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 4,490
    @sillysam83 you may be able to help here with your own experience. 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,624
    Dear oh dear!  Poor thing - I agree with Kath Counselling to help her work through it all.  
    The odds are in our favour as we are in the system being constantly monitored and some of us on hormone treatment, long enough we hope that it is no longer an issue!
    Would she then want reconstruction?
    I hope that her decision will give her peace of mind and the rest of her life to look forward to cancer free!


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 1,687
    Both counselling and some good oncology advice. Without clearer indicators, the possibility of a chance of cancer elsewhere in the body (recurrence or entirely new) is still there. But lots of people live happily and well without breasts. Uncertainty is part of life but that's an awfully hard lesson at 24, when you want to feel the world is your oyster and you've already had one big shock to the system. I'd suggest some thinking and some good, factual information as far as possible  and then support her in whatever she chooses.
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,038
    At 24 she has hardly even gotten used to having them but I get that they have given her a scare and now she doesn't trust them at all. She should have counselling before hand but yes, if she needs to have a full mastectomy to live a less fear filled life then go for it. She will still need to have followup ultrasounds on the scars for a few years so scanxiety will still be a thing. <3 
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 2,093

    She's very young to be making such a big decision, but it is her body and her choice-- a few years ago it probably would have been considered a much more drastic course of action than it is now. Even if she doesn't have a significant genetic risk, she's not the only young woman wanting to eliminate what she obviously sees as a big threat in the future.

    Aside from breast feeding if she wants to have a child at some point, taking that path may make little impact on her life if, and this for me is the big if, she is mentally prepared to face the fact that reconstructive surgery is often sub optimal and there is no assurance that she will be satisfied with the results. If that's what she chooses to do.

    Counselling is a very good idea but even if she delays the decision for a couple of years, will you be anymore comfortable if that is her choice when she is 34 or 44? Her age is a factor, but she is an adult who has already been through a traumatic experience and it's understandable that she wants to avoid a repeat performance. As the others have said, it won't necessarily change her chances of metastatic disease, but it might stop the feelings of doubt, mistrust and uncertainty that are currently making her miserable. Mxx

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 2,668
    I completely understand how she feels.  My sister was diagnosed (extremely early) at 32.  As a result, I was always anxious and then I was diagnosed at 54.  I'm still weighing up whether to get the other one removed.  I think, as @zoffiel says, as long as she understands that the results may not look as good and definitely won't feel as good, as the originals.  Also, that she fully understands the facts, risks and her own motivations...  It's hard to imagine your life full of fear for so many years and to think that if there is a recurrence in the breast, that you could have avoided it.
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,531
    Agree- she needs to talk to a psychologist and preferably one with expertise in bc counselling. 
  • Scared MumScared Mum Member Posts: 165
    Thanks, Ladies, Nat has an appointment with a counsellor one who her surgeon recommended and an appointment with the plastic surgeon maybe after she has talked to both of them she may change her mind and she may not but either way I will support her decision. I don't think I would like to live with the fear day in and day out either xx   
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