Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Recovering from a mastectomy
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Questions posted in the Breast Cancer Forum are answered by medical professionals and experts. Topics include Breast Biopsy, Chemotherapy, Hormone Therapy, Lumps, Lumpectomy, Lymph node dissection, Lymphedema, Mammograms, Mastectomy, Radiation Therapy, Reconstruction, Self Breast Exam, and Surgery.

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Recovering from a mastectomy

My grandmother has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She has had a biopsy and discovered she must have further treatment.  Her choices are either a mastectomy (with removal of the lymph nodes) or a lumpectomy and radiation.  My grandmother is 80 years old and in very good health.  She is leaning towards the mastectomy, but is weary of the recovery from such a surgery.  What is involved in the recovery from a mastectomy and how difficult is it?
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Dear Twanda:  The decision between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy is usually a personal one.  A mastectomy is still considered a major surgery but recovery is often very tolerable, even for those who are up in years.  Her doctor could enlighten you on his/her specific protocol for recovery.  In my experience, many older women have opted for mastectomy over lumpectomy.  Their rationale is that they do not feel they
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