Fear anxiety & search for normality symmetry

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016. Thankfully because of the amazing doctors & nurses I am one year plus clear. I’ve had the reconstruction on the mastectomy breast with an implant. I’m getting used to it & hoping to have a nipple added in the future. I’ve been fortunate enough to be told I can have a lift & small implant on the healthy breast to give symmetry with the mastectomy breast. Please forgive me for my next question but does anybody have the what I can only describe as obsession to have the other healthy breast removed? I feel so guilty & vain even as I write this question. How dare I be vain & desire symmetry? Is this about fear of it occurring in the healthy breast or more about having both breasts feel & look the same? I’m so confused I really don’t know. Is anybody else experiencing what I’m feeling. I feel so ungrateful & guilty. Please believe me when I say I’m so grateful & lucky to be alive but I just can’t get past this thought about removing the healthy breast. 

Hi Silvia

You are not at all vain in wanting to have the healthy breast removed. It sounds like a mixture between wanting to remove the other breast to stop it coming back in that breast and also wanting some symmetry. Both emotions are totally normal and understandable - and I know exactly how you feel. I asked my surgeon to remove both breasts when he did my mastectomy but he said no, that there is no evidence of better survival rates if you remove both - I didn’t press at the time but often wonder if I should have. I also had an implant - it doesn’t match my other breast but I have got used to it now, well most of the time anyway.

Why don’t you talk to your consultant or surgeon about removing the other breast - if you have been offered an operation to try to even things up maybe he/she will consider that? Other ladies have posted on here that they persuaded their surgeon to remove both breasts - I think they have to be certain that it is affecting your mental health, and it certainly sounds as if it is distressing you.

It’s really good that you have come on here to share your thoughts and I’m sure others will come along to share their stories too. I’m happy to chat more if I can help at all.

Hugs, Evie xx

Hi Silvia,


It’s so pleasing to read a post aligned to how I currently feel. My head is spinning with confusion due to the concern that my ‘good breast’ may develop cancer and because it needs to be reduced in size, why not have it removed. 


I’ve always been lumpy bumpy and no longer know what ‘normal’ is! My mastectomy breast was removed in September, following a routine mammogram and biopsy. I was told 7 years before that I had a large cyst (which was drained at the time) and I had symmetrical clusters of cysts in both breasts. My ‘good breast’ also had a cyst drained in July 2018 when the boiopsy was taken of a tumour circa 4.5cm (later found to be 9cm). My consultant believes that the cyst was hiding the development of the tumour and I now fear that as I couldn’t feel the cyst in my ‘good breast’, does draining a cyst add to the growth of cancerous cells. Even after the aspiration I was left with lumpy tissue and thought this was normal.


So I’m at the point that because I can feel small lumps that could be cysts, would it be best to remove the breast when reduction is performed and have an implant to match the other breast when reconstruction is completed on the mastectomy side. I have an appointment to see my breast surgeon/consultant on Wednesday, so will see what he says and if he will discuss it further with the plastic surgeon. 


I hope you have have been able to arrange an appointment as suggested in one of the other responses and I wish you well. X



I understand how you feel I am actually 5 years today since diagnosis . I had mastectomy and had to wait 8 months before reconstruction . It hasn’t been easy but getting there I had uplift on other breast it still isn’t symmetrical but it looks ok and now I have had nipple tattoo it  looks like my new normal .