• Lumpectomy or mastectomy?

    Asked by Fifi on Sunday, March 24, 2019

    Lumpectomy or mastectomy?

    Worried if lumpectomy that cancer may return. Mastectomy seems unfathomable, though. Like mutilation or amputation.

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I had a lumpectomy. My doctor recommended it and I just agreed. I just have a small scar on my breast.
      The only drawback was that the possibility of not getting clean margins is about 1 out of 4. And yes, I had to have a second surgery to get clean margins. That was successful.
      And I had chemo and radiation treatments. But in October I will be a survivor for 7 years.
      Talk to your doctors. See what they say. Cancer is scary. Find out all you can.

      29 days ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Here is an article that is a part of our "Beginner's Guide to Cancer" that is called "How We Chose Between a Lumpectomy or Mastectomy". Maybe it will have some information to help you. Follow this link>> https://www.whatnext.com/cc/how_we_chose_between_a_lumpectomy_and_mastectomy

      29 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I, too, had a lumpectomy and then a re-excision, after which the margins were clear. I have a small scar. After some chemo and radiation (and then 4.5 years of Tamoxifen and after that 5 years of Femara). It’s a few months shy of my 20 years since diagnosis, with no recurrence so far. Mine was triple-positive stage 1. I agree with cclinda with regard to hearing what your oncologist recommends. Best wishes -

      29 days ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      With mine, I was the surgeon first. She looked at the test results, the size and location of the tumor and told me I was a good candidate for lumpectomy.
      My nurse navigator set me up with a great surgeon who wanted to do what was best for me. And because I liked her so much, I went along with lumpectomy.
      Yet I met a lady who had stage 0 bc and got a mastectomy. I thought that was a lot to go through.
      Talk to your surgeon and see what they say. Find the best one for the job. I was happy with our decision.

      29 days ago
    • channing2623's Avatar
      channing2623

      I too was having a very hard time with this decision at time of diagnosis my surgeon also said i was a great candidate for lumpectomy. i too liked her very much smart nice ma,de me feel as though i wasn’t just another face. i went with lumpectomy margins all clear on the first go round and no lymph node involvement, and i did do 41/2 wks of radiation once healed from the surgery! i also agree with most here when they say get all the information you need to feel comfortable with what ultimately is THE BEST DECISION FOR YOU! yep i still worry and am scared about all things cancer but i. hoping that quotes down as i move further along in my journey, i’m so sorry you are stuck here at this crossroads and have to travel this road, i wish you as much peace and kindness and prayers to get through this,

      28 days ago
    • Blonty's Avatar
      Blonty

      I didn't have a choice. I had a mastectomy 7wks ago. If your surgeon says your a good candidate for a lumpectomy I would listen to him. Tell him your concerns and weigh it up.

      28 days ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      Even though I had lymph node involvement that was known before surgery, my surgeon offered lumpectomy and mastectomy. I chose a bilateral mastectomy with no reconstruction. I was unable to have reconstruction at the time of mastectomy surgery due to extensive node involvement and I advised my surgeon that I wanted a flat chest with no flaps because I didn’t want more surgery. I still could do reconstruction but I really love my body now. It is so nice to be rid of the weight and worry. I follow others on instagram that are “flat and fabulous”. I would not recommend this path for others because it is such a private and complicated decision. Four years post op I’m incredibly thankfulfor my decision. My breasts have been amputated but I definitely don’t feel mutilated.

      28 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      @cclinda, a friend of mine had stage 0 (DCIS) but had a mastectomy, because her cancer was (I think) in microcalcifications in many areas of her breast. This was 19 years ago. Protocol recommendations may be different now, because there now are questions about how DCIS may not ever metastasize or grow (I may be wrong about this, and apology if I’m telling you something you already know).

      28 days ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Treatment depends on your diagnosis and stage, so you need to ask your question to your doctors. My doctor told me a mastectomy would be "overkill" for Stage 1.

      I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy in 2002, with radiation afterwards, and did not take the Tamoxifen. I've had no recurrence of breast cancer, but I was only Stage 1.

      28 days ago
    • coolteach51's Avatar
      coolteach51

      I opted for a lumpectomy since my lobular cancer was described as "small, tiny really". The pathology said "clear margins, 3 nodes cancerous". I decided to have a mastectomy and more nodes were removed, 7 more cancerous and #11 clear. I just finished chemo, and start radiation next week. I'm flat by choice and it will be fine. I don't feel mutilated. I choose to be the most cancer free possible.

      28 days ago
    • Jesse0218's Avatar
      Jesse0218

      Talk to your surgeon about your feelings. I was in the same boat 4 1/2 years ago.
      He'd said if he could do a lumpectomy, he would. If he couldn't, then he'd have to do a mastectomy.
      When he told me that he really thought I needed a mastectomy, I remember saying to him that I wouldn't feel like a whole person. He said no problem, he'd send me to a plastic surgeon.
      I was able to have the implant put in right away, but not everyone is.
      Now, 4 1/2 years later, I'm over not being a whole person. It was a comment my cousin said to me that started changing my thinking along those lines. He told me it's not what you look like on the outside that's important, it's what's inside you that's important. I started thinking along those lines and someday when this implant needs to be replaced, I don't want another one put back in. I don't need it anymore.
      I think like 'coolteach51' does now. I don't feel mutilated but feel that my surgeon made a better choice about getting rid of the cancer the first time.

      28 days ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      My husband bought me a necklace with the inscription “her scars gave her wings”. That’s why I love him. There hasn’t been a day when he didn’t make me feel whole snd beautiful.

      When I was first diagnosed, I had some dark thoughts so I understand the use of the word “mutilated”. However, I feel it’s a really hurtful word. I know it wasn’t meant that way but I’ve seen it several times on this site and it always brings up negative emotions.

      28 days ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Why would someone with DCIS (Stage 0) opt for mastectomy when so many of us with Stage I invasive ductal carcinoma are recommended and choose lumpectomy? I can only speak to the experience of a dear friend (who was motivated by my cancer to go for her own mammogram). She was diagnosed with Grade 3 ER-/PR- DCIS in one breast and ADH (precursor to DCIS or even IDC) in the other. The DCIS was multifocal, in several locations spread across a quite small breast. (She hadn't worn a bra in 30 years), Lumpectomy would have been more disfiguring than going flat. As a 70+ widow who'd lost the love of her life 15 years earlier, she didn't expect to get back into the dating scene, and opted to skip reconstruction. She didn't need radiation, and as her cancer was hormone-receptor-negative, she was able to skip endocrine therapy as well (chemo wasn't in the picture, as they no longer give it for pure DCIS). She considers herself cured (her surgeon's words) and has put cancer behind her.

      28 days ago

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