Having to decide Conservation or Mx & reconstruction?

Hello everyone…

I’m a new member of the forum, and as I review this, its a long entry… thanks for your pateince in reading it. I am 41 year young woman diagnosed with invasive ductal carsinoma. Still in shock, as initially discharged from hospital as clear… brought back in for surgery, had 2 scheduled operations cancelled ( admin xxxx-ups), then assured by surgeon not to worry about cancellations, as I didn’t have cancer… not like the woman who was being operated on, who did have cancer!

Lumpectomy Feb 1 2010 revealed the grade II tumour, stage II ( I think) Eustrogen & progestreon Negative. So wasn’t ready for that!

Mar 25 2010 my MDTeam delivered news that there’s still cancer present, and I have to choose my treatment option. Breast conservation surgery is possible, but will involve removal of my nipple & areola as there’s still tumour present. As my affected breast is so small,I would be left with so little breast tissue so mould resemble a Mx anyway…( I was a happy storm in a B cup until lumpectomy…) The surgeoun has said I could have lypo reconstruction after rads to fill in the little breast… this feels more natural, but has less attractive results, and would go on for some time… years.

So now I’m really confused! I have to choose between saving my breast and have Rads with its side effects (I’m a Black woman who scars very easily, and long-term), and still be left with possibility the cancer could come back, and still have to have reconstruction with fat injections. OR go with the MDT’s suggested Mx with immediate recon. though I’m not keen on haveing implants, and not keen on the Lat dors reconstruction, being quite physically active.

I’d love to here from women who did conserve their breast and had lypo reconst. And would love if anyone would say how they went about making such difficult decision of deciding on their treatment, and how they went about it?

It’s so tough to give up my little breast, as I consider myself a ‘late bloomer’ and have only just started living in my body, and liking it, having just started a new relationship… But I am wanting to be strong and make the right decision for my life!

Hello Cloverhoney,

Welcome to the Breast Cancer Care discussion forums, you’ve come to the right place for some good support as the users of this site have a wealth of information between them.

While you are waiting for replies I have put for you below links to some of BCC’s publications which you may find useful. You are also welcome to phone the BCC helpline and have a chat with one of the breast care nurses here about your reconstruction options and concerns, they’re here to support you. Calls to the helpline are free, 0808 800 6000 lines open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturday 9am - 2pm (lines will be closed Good Friday and Easter Monday)

Reconstruction animation:

Support sessions:

Breast reconstruction:

I hope some of this helps. Take care,
Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi Cloverhoney,

I (45) had a mx with immediate LD recon 6 weeks ago (with axillary node clearance) for multifocal ILC grade 2 & DCIS. I was in hospital for 7 days with 3 drains and started driving again after 3.5 weeks and I am physically active again now, ie doing all the household chores, taking the kids to primary school, shopping etc. It’s a big operation and will need some more work, ie the recon is smaller than the other side and nipple reconstruction but I was happy to wake up and still have a shape there instead of a “space”. I can wear all my regular clothes and if you didn’t know I had surgery you wouldn’t be able to tell. The back still feels tight and the arm has tingling but overall it’s very doable. It’s early days yet for me but overall I am pleased with my choice. Your BCC nurse should be able to explain all the options available to you and show you pictures of the results your surgeon has achieved.
Best of Luck, it’s a difficult time to make very important decisions, so don’t rush into anything and make sure you understand all the implications. xxxTina

Hi Cloverhoney,

I need a MX and they’ve asked me to decide if I want reconstruction or not too. Just wanted to say you’re not alone in needing to know really. I haven’t a clue what I think, so any wisdom from anyone out there would be a big help. So hard all of this isn’t it?.. Julie

Good evening,

A big thank you Julie &Tina45 for replying. . Just reading the responses has made me feel a bit more connected to the process. Tina, you sound like Wonder Woman! Amazing recovery markers, I’l hold you in mind when I’m recovering :slight_smile: I’ve also considered the LD op for its more natural look. I sew for my job, & do yoga, pilates,and belly dance several times a wk -for mental sanity! BC nurse mentioned potential muscle weakening,which I cant afford to risk, and my skin scars visibly and long term. Anyone can offer good post op scar repair advice or treatment?

Julie, just to say, I hear you, I’ll keep seeking clarity alongside you for my big decision…

Good morning,

Firstly wanted to say thanks to all women who whilst dealing with the shock and disruptiveness of this disease, still fin time to be supportive and inspiring to others. Reading the posts has been a great help for me.

Any women with reconstruction experience to share, would be gratefully received… I’m meeting with the assistant surgeon today at 1pm.

I’m thinking that I could have the Becker’s expander implants for now, and if there are problems in the future have a free flap reconstruction.

Thank you!