Surgery choice

JackieR Member Posts: 1 New Member
edited May 2020 in Newly diagnosed
I have just been diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer. My surgeon's recommendation is a lumpectomy and radiation, but she will support me in whatever surgery choice I make. In my Mum's immediate family, her Mother (my Nana), two brothers and her sister (breast- then bone) have all had cancer. Three of them developed secondary cancers and passed away within two years. I want to reduce the chance of mine cancer coming back so have decided on a double mastectomy and reconstruction. I would be interested in any feed back. Has anyone else made this choice and if so, are they happy or disappointed with their decision?  I am finding that just making this decision is more stressful that having the actual diagnosis


  • Tinks
    Tinks Member Posts: 234
    It’s a terribly hard decision. I’m a Stage 2b and my surgeon did not want to do both sides upfront as I had a mastectomy and axillary clearance to deal with. He also said  no immediate Reconstruction 
    due to lengthy RT. Now I have to consider the other side. I’m leaning to a mastectomy there as like you I have a family history.  

    This is your call, many women opt for it and no one can understand fully what it takes to make it if they haven’t been in our position!

    ...what feels right for you is the right decision. Same with reconstruction - have you seen the breast reconstruction group?

    You can also request a referral for genetic counselling if you want to understand your family history of cancers. The cancers most relevant to us are breast and ovarian in female and prostate in male relatives. Also the age at diagnosis is important. If you are going for bilateral Mastectomy anyway then you could explore a referral later? 

    There is a predict tool available on the web where you can plug in your details and it will give you a good idea of your risk. It’s quite useful but it’s not a full substitute for a genetic consultation.

    Hope this helps lots of love Tinks xx
  • Invisjet
    Invisjet Member Posts: 7
    Hi JackieR,
    I’m 4 weeks post double mastectomy with reconstruction (skin sparring Tram flap). And while it’s not for the faint hearted - I don’t regret it at all! In fact I’m amazed at the relief I now feel now that it’s all over. I’m actually going back to work next week! (I’m in admin)

    I was diagnosed in February with a 11mm stage 1A grade 2 IDC. Pretty standard with the thoughts of just having a lumpectomy & radiation. But because I’ve already survived ovarian cancer & my father died of prostate cancer, I had genetic testing which came back positive for heterozygous ATM. That kinda made the decision to have a double mastectomy for me. 

    If you are in Brisbane I can highly recommend my surgical team (PM me).

    Best of luck & regardless of your final decision - you will always find love & support here on this forum.
  • PV123
    PV123 Member Posts: 202
    Hi @JackieR

    i had bilateral mastectomies in February this year, I had a lumpectomy in October last year with chemo for stage 1A Breast cancer.  I do not have any family history of BC or ovarian cancer but I had very dense breasts which made detection difficult.  While having a mastectomy can reduce/eliminate the chance of getting BC it does not take away the risk of metastasis elsewhere.  I am happy with my decision to have bilateral mastectomies.  I did not choose to have any reconstruction.

  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
    Hi JackieR, all bc decisions are awful and neither right or wrong.Everyone has different reasons as to why they choose one over the other. I was 47yrs old with my first bc diagnosis. I had no family history and I was horrified at the thought of losing my breast so went with the recommendation of lumpectomy,full node clearance and radiation.I wish I’d given it more thought but I was a mess and wanted the cancer gone ASAP. So 7yrs later the cancer came back in the same spot and I had to have a mastectomy and chemo. Because of previous radiation I couldn’t have an implant. I’ve now been lopsided for 10yrs and get abit sick of it but at least I’m cancer free.
    At the moment I’m researching fat grafting as my flat side is scooped out which is what happens with a mastectomy.I’m also considering having the other breast off but it’s big surgery as you get older.I don’t rush these things now.This probably hasn’t helped you but it’s good to read other people’s experiences as something might click for you.Best wishes.xx
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    I have family history and dense breasts. I was going to have mastectomy and reconstruction, my surgeon actually suggested both given my history. I had immediate 2 part reconstruction. I haven't regretted the decision.
    I am now considering own tissue reconstruction in next 2 years, something I just couldn't consider at the time due to need for immediate surgery and chemo and herceptin. It has a long recovery period so I have to mentally and physically ready for this one as it is planned.