Lumpectomy or Mastectomy? Reconstruction or Flatness? - 2xSurvivor

Decision Point Associated with Breast Cancer. Posted on September 7, 2012 View this journey (10 Experiences)

I saw three surgeons in search of one who would NOT recommend a mastectomy over a lumpectomy. The third time was the charm. Dr. Applen was the eldest of the three, so I trusted his experience. His rationale made sense to me: We can always go back in and take more if the need arises, but we can't put it back after we take it out.

During the days when I thought that my best option was a mastectomy and was investigating the possibility of breast reconstruction, I concluded that reconstruction was unwise. Implants are temporary, and I didn't want to have to undergo surgery every ten years or so for the rest of my life. The thought of having a foreign object inside me that might spring a leak or cause other problems did not appeal to me either. It seemed much safer to wear my prosthesis on the outside of my body than on the inside in case of unforeseen difficulties.

Over fifteen years later, despite a recurrence after nine years necessitating a mastectomy and a second pre-emptive mastectomy last month when I learned that I was positive for the BRCA genetic mutation, I have not regretted either decision.

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