• Did anyone request a bilateral mastectomy even though only one breast is affected by invasive ductal carcinoma?

    Asked by mominmi on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

    Did anyone request a bilateral mastectomy even though only one breast is affected by invasive ductal carcinoma?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I opted for a bilateral. I had inflammatory breast cancer, but the non-affected breast was removed strictly for prophylactic reasons.

      about 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      I opted for bilateral - I did not think I would deal well with assymmetry and I had fibrocystic breast tissue (basically, I was bumpy). So, I did both and no reconstruction. I've got to say, being flat is AWESOME! I love never needing a bra. I love it. I do miss my nipples, tho. Alas.

      Are you thinking about bilateral?

      Do you know if you need chemo? If you need chemo, consider doing chemo first surgery second. There are a few good reasons for doing that. One is that you'll have more time to make this important decision. Another is that you'll know if the chemo is working (whether the tumor responds to the drugs or not).

      I'm so sorry for your diagnosis.
      Best wishes,

      about 4 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I requested a bilateral mastectomy even though only my left breast was cancerous. I wanted symmetry and peace that I would never have to have the surgery again.

      about 4 years ago
    • GetMyLifeBack's Avatar

      I did bilateral for stage 1 and only the left was cancerous. I wanted peace of mind as well. Not to mention, I was diagnosed at 33 and I intend to live a long time after treatment is finished and I don't want to have one side go the way of gravity and the other stay where it is. A little vanity for sure but at this point you are allowed to be vain. I too miss my nipple. I had a nipple sparing mastectomy on the unaffected side. I was hoping to keep both of my nipples but when they biospied the tissue under my nipple on the left during surgery, they found some precancerous cells and it had to go. Don't be afraid to ask for exactly what you want.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      I had stage 1 grade 2 IDC in my left breast but opted for a bilateral with immediate reconstruction. I did not want to have to worry about it for the rest of my life. You can read about how I came to my decision on my blog:
      It also has pictures of my reconstruction.

      about 4 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      You know--Breasts are HIGHLY overrated! I am opting for bilateral, although only my right breast has IDC and DCIS. It was an easy decision for me, as I was dx with DCIS in the right breast nine years ago when I chose lumpectomy. I am done with trying to save these "Grandma breasts" of mine--always too big even after reduction--and will undergo bilateral mastectomy in 6 days. Yes, it is scary, especially since I was dx this time less than a month ago--but I want to live--and this is what I'm going to have to do. I had radiation the first time I had DCIS, so Docs want me to wait on reconstruction so that I will be totally healed. That is ok with me. I have the perfect new set of ta tas to look forward to,--my choice this time instead of genetics!--probably by April or May. No more knee-knocking Grandma boobs! YEAH!

      about 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I chose to have the bilateral even though only one breast was affected. I wanted to be aggressive. Besides, I had dense tissue/fibrocystic breasts whereby I anticipated that there could be more problems in the future and I certainly did not want to go through surgery a second time with all the drains, discomfort, etc. I had heard of women having lumpectomies and then having to have a mastectomy later on --- and those that had one breast removed and had to have the second done later on -- I just wanted to get rid of it all -- have chemo & radiation -- Arimidex for 5 years -- and stay positive. At least I know I have done all that I can. I also heard of a lady who had just one breast affected but opted for the bilateral mastectomy. When her pathology report came back, it stated that cancer was found in the "unaffected" breast so she certainly made the right decision for her. However, everyone is different -- and should make their own decision with the guidance of their surgeon. Good Luck --

      about 4 years ago
    • Irishsurvivor's Avatar

      I opted for bilateral even though only my left breast had invasive ductal carcinoma. My first surgeon and the second one I saw (for a second opinion) both pushed for lumpectomy on the left breast. I told them no, I knew for me bilateral was what I wanted. I did not want to worry about cancer showing up in my right breast someday and I had a feeling I had one chance to do this right. Am I glad I did! After surgery the surgeon said the right breast had a different type of cancer.
      Their mammograms and ultrasounds did not pick up the right breast cancer, which required a different type of chemo as it was HER 2 Positive. I think everyone needs to make an informed decision, thinking what they feel would be best for them and their life.
      I am so sorry for your diagnosis and what you are going through! Good luck and many hugs to you!


      about 4 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar

      I opted for bilateral, although only my right breast had invasive ductal carcinoma. It has been 7 years, and I have never regretted my decision. I am still such a worrier, and I can only imagine the worry that I would have put myself through if I kept my left breast. I had reconstruction surgery with saline implants. I haven't worn a bra in six years !!

      about 4 years ago

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