• is it a better to have a bilateral mastectomy as apposed to a single mastectomy when dealing with triple negative?

    Asked by steelernutt on Saturday, October 29, 2011

    is it a better to have a bilateral mastectomy as apposed to a single mastectomy when dealing with triple negative?

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      there is alot of factors that go into that I had hormonal grade 3 i just had a single mast I have a friend who is tnbc and she had a single mast based upon her cancer scores. you need to talk to both your surgeon and your onc about this I was told that I was going to lose both breast by the dr who did my biopsy when i spoke to my onc and my surgeon they said there was no reason for a double mast. I had 5 tumors in my breast and 7mm long califications i was pretty bad but the cancer was only in 1 breast I have had 2 mamos since chemo and my breast is looking great according to my onc...... so talk to both of them then figure out what is best for you.

      almost 9 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      This is such a good question... with so many different answers.

      I have TNBC, and I will be opting for double. Why? One reason is that I cannot handle the idea of such asymmetry. Another reason is that even if I could have a lumpectomy, I am not interested in doing radiation. In fact, I really DON'T want to do radiation. My onc said mastectomy... and then I said double. For reconstruction, they would have to implant both sides in order to gain symmetry, and I'm already kind of busty... and I don't want to be BIGGER when this is done - no way! I'm an athlete... and hauling around more weight is not attractive to me.

      Also, I do not want to put my body through any extra surgery - without good reason (reconstruction would require one additional surgery, at a minimum.

      Finally, my relationship to my breasts is not all that strong. In fact, I've always longed for smaller breasts... I have often wished I were flat chested. So the idea of going totally flat just seems fine with me.

      So, weighing cancer factors with personal factors... I'm going double. I guess this is what I'd suggest you do.... How do you feel about having one breast and one flat? How do you feel about being flat chested? How do you feel about reconstruction? What are your cancer risks?

      almost 9 years ago
    • steelernutt's Avatar

      ty both of you for your thoughts and insight
      I have been giving this alot of thought and its not an easy decision to make...i do have the next 16 weeks of chemo to think about it too...
      .my main concern is they type of cancer I have they say very often does come back ....they say the HER2 is the one of most concern because they tend to be more resistant to chemo but they do have ones that specifically target the HER2 and everyone is different on if they respond to it or not..
      and i have thought about the asymmetry as well I already feel strange enough do i want to look it too....
      unfortunately for me the reconstruct i will have involves graphs and all that stuff because after my surgery i will need more chemo and radiation and the radiation will prevent them from doing the implants as apposed to the graphs during reconstruct.
      guess i am going to continue thinking about it but the genetic test i feel will help me in that area. i hope so cause so far none of these decisions ive had to make have been easy ones for sure.

      almost 9 years ago
    • hikerchick's Avatar

      I don't know anything about your condition but I can share my experience with double mastectomy and sentinel node removal. With a double, you have the choice of any size breast forms or breasts you want. I certainly don't want reconstruction. When I tried on silicone breast forms, much smaller (thank goodness) than the D cup I had been, I didn't like the possibility of the weight of them shifting around when I'm active. I chose to wear foam "recreational" forms all the time, with no regrets. They don't move around in the bra, as salespeople would like you to believe. They're much cheaper than silicone, though still rediculously overpriced. The thing about a single mastectomy is you have to match the weight of your other breast in order to balance weight for the sake of your back and neck. Also, to my amazement, no one really noticed that I went considerably smaller!
      Good luck to you!

      almost 9 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      recreational forms? hikerchick - more information please! i might choose to go this route for some situations... otherwise, i'm happy to be flat!

      almost 9 years ago
    • Unbelievable's Avatar

      Here's one thought. If you are going to have reconstruction, it is better to reconstruct 2 breasts as opposed to one breast. If you reconstruct one breast and keep the other, as you age you may gain weight. If you gain weight, the real breast will increase in size but your reconstructed breast will remain the same size, so you will end up not being symmetrical in your later years.

      Age sometimes plays a factor on a decision. We value our breasts more when we are younger, so we fight harder to keep the breasts, whereas when we are older, we may elect to have the mastectomy.

      At the age of 65 years old I was diagnosed 0 Stage DCIS with a calcification, lymph nodes clear. After 2 surgical biopsies, margins still were not clear. I chose to have a contralateral mastectomy. After surgery I did not need chemo, radiation, nor arimidex (nor any of the 5 year prevention drugs...estrogen suppressive). I had immediate skin sparing reconstruction with Mentor memory gel implants.

      Lots of Hugs,

      almost 9 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      So, I had my mastectomy surgery this week... and the pathology results shows a pathologically complete response... and that I had atypical cells in my left breast – that was the one that had no cancer. The surgeon said this is not a worrisome result, and further research into it has only been consistent with that. It’s considered benign breast disease. I’ll get to see the full report on Tuesday. I don't know if it's the kind of benign breast disease that's an indicator of higher risk for breast cancer (er... yeah) or not...

      But, I sure as heck feel GOOD about going with the bilateral mastectomy! And by good - I mean really really good.

      Where are you in your treatment? Do you have a surgery date yet? I'm thinking of you....

      over 8 years ago
    • osu2sum's Avatar

      I initially had a lumpectomy with a chemo port put in while I was waiting for my genetic testing to come back - since breast cancer really runs in my family. Turns out I do have the BRCA1 gene. So I opted for a double mastectomy with an immediate reconstruction (with saline implants) to reduce my odds of reoccurence to less than 3%. I'm very pleased with the results, even though I'm a surgery minimalist as well. I'll be having a hysterectomy next week to reduce my odds for ovarian cancer. I would not have gone with the mastectomies without the additional genetic information. You might want to ask your doctor about that, as well as your risk of reoccurence before making a final decision.

      about 8 years ago
    • Akitalover's Avatar

      I agree with leepen, why live in the shadow of cancer? Those were words from my plastic surgeon that I took and he made new breasts much smaller and more comfortable for an active lifestyle. Plus why be lopsided and go through radiation ? My onco test came back high (aggressive ) and that sealed the decision for me

      about 8 years ago
    • Marbeau's Avatar

      I also had TNBC and had the choice of a lumpectomy. I just did not ever want the worry hanging over my head. Also id not relish the thought of radiation. I went with a double mastectomy even though I was BRCA negative. Have never regretted it. Went with saline implant reconstruction. Diane

      almost 8 years ago
    • merr's Avatar

      My surgeon even said "I don't know why you would want to take off a healthy breast" when I decided to do the double mastectomy. It's the one "for sure" thing I would do again as I have been running a breast cancer support group for 8 years and it is so sad to see the women I love and care for come back with cancer in the other breast and have to go thru the whole thing again. To me, breast cancer is breast cancer...............get rid of them both and your new ones will match and you won't wake up every morning wondering if the other breast is OK. Being triple neg means my Onc Doc is watching me for 10 years (not five) so getting rid of the problem and getting new ones was the best thing I ever did. Hope that helps honey.

      almost 8 years ago
    • Jaimebrie's Avatar

      Hi steelernutt,
      I had a bilateral mastectomy because I tested positive for the BRCA gene. Then I had bilateral DIEP flap reconstruction. I have no rergrets. I did noit want to have the cancer come back in my other breast.

      over 7 years ago

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