Take 1 or Take 2 breasts

wattle069 Member Posts: 1 New Member
Newly diagnosed with DCIS. Surgery scheduled for the right breast. Conflicted over whether to take the left as well. Will the difference in look and feel be a substantial mental health element? Will the risk of getting it in the left be a significant health concern that will dog at me? The ongoing checking for the left .... Or is this over treatment?


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,328
    Welcome, sorry you have to be here but I hope you find it useful (even enjoyable) nevertheless. I hadn’t your diagnosis but cancer in left breast, right breast OK. You may want to think about the following:

    - what is your surgeon’s advice?
    - is there any family history of cancer?
    - have you had any major surgery before (so that you know how you/ your body react)?
    - what are your thoughts about reconstruction?

    There’s a completely understandable wish to get it all over and done with in one go. But you don’t know what you don’t know and knowing how you and your body react to a single mastectomy may be useful before making the decision about a bilateral procedure. I discussed the matter with my oncologist (some time after my mastectomy, when a friend decided to lose both breasts) and his view was that I had as much, if not more, chance of cancer elsewhere in the body as in my remaining breast. Not necessarily a huge threat (I am now seven years with no evidence of disease), but not specifically greater for my right breast. You always have the option to remove the other breast later.

    I stayed with a single mastectomy, no reconstruction, and I am fine with it. Reconstruction is really important for some and not for others, it’s a very personal thing. 

    Such a a lot to think about, which is why dealing with one thing at a time, even if it prolongs the process, may sometimes be helpful. Best wishes. 

  • jintie
    jintie Member Posts: 114
    DCIS is contained within one area.  Has surgeon said mastectomy or is it a lumpectomy?  
     It’s your body.  Even if both breasts were taken, you’ll have ongoing checks - just no mammograms.
    good luck 

  • Ahnn
    Ahnn Member Posts: 42
    @wattle069 i understand your concern completely.  All through my diagnosis, DCIS was identified in one breast only. After 4 weeks of multiple scans on the identified breast, the breast surgeon recommended redoing all the scans again in a private clinic on both breasts including an MRI. The very last scan noted some minor specks on the other side less than 5mm. After lumpectomy we discussed results and family history to determine next phase of treatment. In the end it's up to you. Your decision is what will work best for you. Best wishes