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    yolie asked a questionBreast Cancer

    Surgery options for breast cancer

    14 answers
    • hikerchick's Avatar
      hikerchick

      Don't just assume reconstruction is best for you since it has to be covered by insurance. I am so glad to have avoided addtional surgeries, complications and feelings of "foreign boobs." It's not something I'm comfortable with for myself. But I know women who have been made to feel reconstruction is necessary in order to "feel like a woman" or "feel whole" and I am one of a number of women here to say that simply isn't so. Foam prostheses work just great for me!

      Cancer showed up in my second breast just in time for me to say remove them both at the same time. I'm with others in that I wanted all the potentially suspect tissue removed. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer, I had the opportunity to have it all cut off my body, even though I was told I could go with lumpectomies and radiation if I chose. I'm extremely glad about the decisions I made. I did not make them because of my doctors; I made the decisions I did based on doctors' input, pathology and my own intuition. In the end, I have excellent range-of-motion and potential physically, shortest recovery and best long-term prognosis. I would think that a double mastectomy instead of a single would not increase recovery time needed. But a single would limit your options a bit regarding size choices, symmetry, etc.

      Regarding insurance and a mastectomy for a second breast that "is not indicated," I do know of some women who have had insurance deny coverage to remove a breast that still tests out healthy. If I were you, I would get answers about that directly from your insurance company in writing.

      Good luck! I hope your research in advance really pays off for you. :-)

      almost 5 years ago
    • Blepta's Avatar
      Blepta

      I had bilateral with expanders which made room for the silicone implants. Given your young age, you might consider the possibility that your cancer has a genetic component, which would make your risk of getting cancer again much higher than the average woman. FORCE is an organization which I found to be extremely helpful as I was gathering information. Even if you do not have a genetic predisposition, the information on reconstruction will be valuable to you.
      http://www.facingourrisk.org/

      almost 5 years ago
    • Julie99's Avatar
      Julie99

      Due to the size of my tumor, I was originally told I would need chemo before a lumpectomy to shrink it and then need radiation after surgery. Because I needed chemo either way, I was more leaning towards a mastectomy to just get it all out. I had an apt on a Friday morning to go over all the options and was going to spend the weekend making my final decision.
      That afternoon I got the results of my BRCA testing. Positive for BRCA-2. I didn't need to think anymore... bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. Surgery is scheduled in 5 days and chemo will start up in early February.
      Whatever you decide is a completely personal choice for what is best for you. No one else can make that decision for you.
      My surgical oncologist said she had a patient in her 60's who had her 2 daughters, both in their 30's, with her for her appointment. After the oncologist explained the 2 options to the family, the 2 daughters said what they would do if it was them. Each choose the opposite. Same appointment, same info, same family, 2 choices. VERY personal.
      Best of luck to you!!

      almost 5 years ago
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    Decision Point (Type of surgery): I'm done with chemo and the treatments worked great. The tumor has shrunk significantly. Now I am trying to decide what type of surgery is best. Lumpectomy with radiation, mastectomy with reconstruction or double mastectomy with reconstruction.

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    Side Effects (Hot flashes): Not a great side effect but no periods is a plus.

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    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): Chemo therapy was an inconvenience but I did not have as many side effects as others. I was very fatigued especially from the nuelasta shot. I felt sick after the trestments but never threw up and never lost my appetite. Lost all my hair and my nails are discolored and some may fall off. My eyes watered really bad which was very annoying.

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    Oh No (Diagnosed)