Decisions at 88

LinSkin Member Posts: 1
Hi everyone,
At 88, my mum has just been diagnosed.. currently has invasive carcinoma, grade 1, and a non invasive DCIS in one breast and waiting fir further results in left breast.
Our first instinct was not to have surgery due to her age. Does anyone have experience with breast cancer at this age? We are concerned about the effect of the anesthetic on her currently agile mind.
Trying to gather as much info as possible before first visit with the surgeon.


  • Blossom1961
    Blossom1961 Member Posts: 2,430
    Hi @LinSkin
    Welcome to the forum. The surgeon will take your mums age and health into consideration before deciding on any treatment/surgery. The aim is to prolong life not shorten it so be assured the medical team will be doing all they can to achieve this.
    Knowing you have cancer in your body is extremely stressful so take that into account when talking to the surgeon. I think my mental health took just as much if not more of a hit than my physical. Your mum has you to advocate and support her so that is a major plus.
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,803
    edited April 5
    So sorry about your Mum's diagnosis @LinSkin.  is she healthy & fit (relative to her age) other than the BC diagnosis (which is obviously a big shock to her & the family.). Is she on many medications?  Is she fully mobile?

    You are wise to query the surgery/treatment ..... as you say, just the anaesthetic may take a toll on her - and it is great that she is still agile in her mind and you don't want her to lose that! 

    It is a tricky one.  Grade 1 (even tho invasive) should mean the lesion is very small ... but only surgery would confirm that - and the other breast is still 'undecided', so unknown.

    It is a decision that only you and the family can make in discussion with your Mum and her surgical team - they will definitely take your Mum's age & prognosis into account, to 'cause no damage' - which is most Surgeon's 'mantra'.

    Ask the surgeon what they would advise if it was THEIR OWN 88 year old mother.  Also ask how fast growing the tumour is likely to be and if non intervention is likely to shorten her life.

    A friend's mother had surgery last year (aged in her early 80s) and is now on Hormone tablets but she is finding it quite tough.   Personally, I'd be leaning towards 'minimal' intervention, to be totally honest. Hopefully she can enjoy her final years in relative peace, surrounded by her caring family.  

    Take care & all the best with your decision making xx

  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,392
    What does your mother want? An agile mind may find the diagnosis a shock, we all do, but she is able to have an opinion. Much as you want the best for her, I’d be wanting to prioritise her own wishes, or at least discuss those with her oncologist.Best wishes for a good outcome.