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Should I have a mastectomy?
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Should I have a mastectomy?

I was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer - no nodes -her2nu positive-estrogen positive
I had a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiation
My breast is now one big hard lump that can not be mapnipulated for exam purposes..  Needle aspirations and another lumpectomy were clear a year ago.
The breast is too dense to read clearly in a mamogram (mammogram) and there is not an open MRI that does breasts in my area.
My surgeon feels that I should consider a mastectomy as it would be very difficult to find a tumor.
I am VERY large breasted and feel that I would have to opt for a double.  My surgeon is afraid that if I have reduction I may have scar tissue that will put the other breast in the same shape as the lump.
Suggestions?
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4 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
That's the million dollar question when it comes to breast cancer and, unfortunately, NO ONE will give you a straight answer. I found it incredibly frustrating when I was diagnosed that no doctor would tell me what to do and no friend could/would advise me either. It's such a personal decision that no one can give you a black/white answer. You have to do your own research about reconstruction, recurrence, future testing/diagnostic surveillance, self image, self esteem, etc... and come to a conclusion on your own because ultimately, it's YOUR BODY!

I can tell you my reasons for my personal decision for a double mastectomy (her2neu negative, ER positive, no family history, BRCA negative) after diagnosis of stage 2 breast cancer at age 30. 1) I didn't want to sweat out each future mammogram on the remaining breast, 2) genetic testing, if negative, STILL wasn't going to explain why I had cancer at age 30 when no one in my family had and it wasn't going to make me feel better that I was negative, 3) my remaining breast wasn't particularly "perky" so I didn't want them to try to re-create something I wasn't particularly in love with the appearance of, 4) breast reconstruction has come so far that I trusted my plastic surgeon, 5) it gave me peace of mind that I'd never have to do this again.

Those were my reasons but you have to come up with a decision you can live with on your own. Sorry I couldn't give you a firm answer but I hope this helps! Thinking of you and best of luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree entirely with the previous post. I also chose double mastectomy with only one small tumor in one breast. I'm older and didn't want the additional surgery of reconstruction. It's a great weight off my chest (pun fully intended) to be rid of the constant worry I would have wondering what was lurking unseen in my breasts. Faithful to annual mammograms since age 30 my tumor was not found by mammogram but by self exam 7 months after a normal mammogram. Breast cancer is in my family so the decision was likely easier for me. Lumpectomy was my surgeon's first recommendation but he supported and understood very well my decision for double mastectomy.
YOU must be comfortable with your decision and your life ahead. Best wishes.
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25201_tn?1255584436
That's a tough one ... no suggestions here but I would probably opt for the bilat. just putting myself in your place. Like the others stated; it's a very personal decision that only you can make. Of course reconstruction is another decision to make and that's a personal one as well. You have some serious thinking to do and I don't envy you the task. I'll send you the address of a Forum you might find helpful as far as getting opinions from women who have "been there" I'll send it by private message as sometimes it doesn't come thru this way.  Regards..
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Avatar_f_tn
It is a difficult decision and one you will have to make. If it were me, and I may very well have to make that decision in the next couple weeks, I would have mastectomy.mmKeep doing research and I hope you can reach a decision you are atease with soon. Bless
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