Bilateral Mastectomy or not

Posted by violetita07 @violetita07, Jul 19, 2018

Hi everyone, I was diagnosed with dcis stage 0 breast cancer on June 1st. Since then they have found several other suspicious lumps I have decided to go ahead and have a mastectomy and sentinel lymph of the right breast. Still trying to decide whether or not to have a bilateral mastectomy. It would just be for preventative measures since they have not found anything in the left breast. Just wondering about others thoughts and experiences for making this decision.

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@jocelynk

I’m a 0 stage and am planning on double mastectomy in June due to radiation that I received many years ago for treatment of Hodgkins that is causing DCIS. I’m 64. Scary

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@jocelynk
Don't be frightened. I had to have one breast with partial mastectomy so the other side was done as well. I went from about an F to an A. You'll have drains for a little bit but once those are out, you'll be more comfortable. It was a bit depressing at first losing part of my body but I don't really look back anymore – it has all worked out just fine.

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@trixie1313

@jocelynk
Don't be frightened. I had to have one breast with partial mastectomy so the other side was done as well. I went from about an F to an A. You'll have drains for a little bit but once those are out, you'll be more comfortable. It was a bit depressing at first losing part of my body but I don't really look back anymore – it has all worked out just fine.

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Thanks for the encouraging words. I appreciate it very much.

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@trixie1313

@jocelynk
Don't be frightened. I had to have one breast with partial mastectomy so the other side was done as well. I went from about an F to an A. You'll have drains for a little bit but once those are out, you'll be more comfortable. It was a bit depressing at first losing part of my body but I don't really look back anymore – it has all worked out just fine.

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Did you do the reduction of the other side at the same time as the partial mastectomy?

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That's every woman's decision. I didn't, but eventually opted to have my other breast removed for symmetry, as I wanted to get rid of the silicone add-on and spend the rest of my days as a "flattie." I never regretted it, but that's just me. Something to think about perhaps. Much love!

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@violetita07

Well I was told that my risk for cancer on my left breast was very low. But still trying to decide for peace of mind whether or not to have the bilateral. My sister was diagnosed at age 52 (3 years ago). She’s the only one from my immediate family. Just want to know what we’re the deciding factors for others.

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violet, I personally would not do a mastectomy in my breast that is not showing cancer. Do a lot of ultra sounds of that breast, as they are more accurate than mammography. Make sure when they do the ultrasounds that they also do the armpits where the lymph nodes are. When I had a lumpectomy on my left breast, the surgeon found a tiny group of satellite cancer cells close to the ones that they actually saw. They wanted to give me months of radiation, which I refused. I did not want to be sick from radiation, so I took a chance, and only took my aromatase inhibitor. Its been 3 years since then, and I have had no signs of cancer again. I just took a chance, and it worked fine. I just didn't want to be sick from radiation, and apparently the aromatase inhibitor and ultra sounds/mammagrams have been fine. It' sush a personal decision, but my attitude is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." LoriRenee1

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@johnsoncs1

Did you do the reduction of the other side at the same time as the partial mastectomy?

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@johnsoncs1
Yes – the partial mastectomy took me from about an "F" down to an "A." The other breast was reduced to match. Keep in mind, if you have radiation following surgery it can change your breast a little bit…I now have a nipple that points outward (!!!), but I'm lucky in that I don't have loss of sensation in either breast or nipples. It was explained to me by the breast surgeon that they are looking doing partial mastectomies rather than full mastectomies now as having too much scarring and cutting through nerves with the full mastectomies so that women that have full mastectomy can not only lose sensation but also have nerve pain for a lifetime. I did have nerve pain for a while while the nerves were regrowing but that is all gone now. The scarring is mostly gone now so that I just have a little bit around one nipple, but continue to use arnica or calendula creams on it and that is starting to fade now. Prior to all of this (after my first surgery of lumpectomy), I asked for a breast MRI which found a secondary neuroendocrine tumor on the opposite side of the same breast as the invasive ductal cancer. I think the surgery lasted about 7 1/2 hours as with the affected breast they have to reshape; the unaffected breast is much simpler to do. If you don't opt for the second side being done, you can always get a prosthetic bra. Some women find being off balance by leaving the one side. This is really a personal decision that only you can make. All I can tell you is that I have no regrets. I hope this helps.

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