Experiences with Mastectomy

Living With Lung Cancer

A mastectomy is a surgery done to remove the entire breast. All of the breast tissue and sometimes other nearby tissues are removed. A mastectomy is commonly performed for all types of breast cancer and helps prevent breast cancer from recurring. A mastectomy is not always the best option; sometimes a lumpectomy is preferred when the tumor may be easy to remove from the breast. There are many different types of mastectomies including a simple mastectomy, skin-sparing mastectomy, and radical mastectomy. A mastectomy is commonly suggested as the best treatment option when radiation therapy has already been done, there are 2 or more areas of breast cancer in the breast, there is recurring cancer in the breast, for women with connective tissue diseases, pregnant women that prefer to avoid radiation therapy, large tumors in the breast, and inflammatory breast cancer. There are many options for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

While you and your doctor may have identified which surgery will be the best option for your health, what women struggle with most is, “How will I feel about losing my breast?” and “Do I want reconstructive surgery after my mastectomy?”. Some WhatNexters who have undergone a mastectomy share that they did not know what to expect until after it was finished, some love being flat, and some have had success with reconstruction. In the end, the best way to think of it is that you are getting rid of cancer, not “cutting off your boob”. If you have fears, uncertainties, or just need to relate, read firsthand experiences below, post questions, and feel some comfort in knowing you are not the only one trying to make this decision.

Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.

    • akwendi
    • Experience with Invasive (Infiltrating...
    about 1 month ago
    akwendi's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had to have drains in for 12 days and wasn't able to shower. Movement was very limited during this time. Very sore and uncomfort...

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • 2943
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    2 months ago
    2943's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Sentinel node biopsy, mastectomy, reconstruction started

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
  1. 2 months ago
    CyndyGill's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Sentinel node biopsy, mastectomy, reconstruction began

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Cobokat
    • Experience with Metaplastic Carcinoma ...
    2 months ago
    Cobokat's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I woke up from surgery feeling great and very glad to be rid of my tumor. I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the breas...

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  2. 3 months ago
    savvynlady's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. The oncologist was very thorough with what I had, gave me a booklet, told me that I had ...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    5 Comments
  3. 3 months ago
    gaylegrace's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    This time it was the other breast. I had reconstructive surgery in both.

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Sabela
    • Experience with Ductal carcinoma in sit...
    3 months ago
    Sabela's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    Went so well than I expected and the pain was so much bare able than I expected.

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Agree
    0 Comments
  4. 4 months ago
    cswwhatnext's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    On 2/23/17 having a partial mastectomy on the left side to remove all the tissue from the original nipple sparing mastectomy in Apri...

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    Went as Expected: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • RoseCole
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    4 months ago
    RoseCole's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The numbness , pain and burning sensation under and down my arm worries me.

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    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
  5. 6 months ago
    mikohargett's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, and sentinel node biospy. I had a blood transfusion later after my hemoglobin leve...

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    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Judylna
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    6 months ago
    Judylna's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    3 surgeries wound vac from infection and wound opening up

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
    • Judylna
    • Experience with Breast Cancer
    6 months ago
    Judylna's Avatar

    Mastectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    3 surgeries wound opened up had to wear a wound vac after each surgery

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    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
    0 Comments
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