Is this a strange thing to think?

Hi - I am nearly a year down the line from a mastectomy & rads for DCIS. I’m in good form & healed well, but recently have started thinking about an elective mastectomy on my right side. I’m quite big, & I find the in-balance horrible both physically & mentally. Somehow I feel as if it would be easier to just be flat chested & balanced & use prostheses on both sides. Am I going mad or have others had similar thoughts? Would appreciate any thoughts on this. It’s hard to describe to others who have not been in the same boat.
Thanks Girls
Fx

Hi there,

I completely understand. I’ll be able to have immediate reconstruction and reduction on the other side - but had that not been possible then i wanted to have a double mastectomy too - for balance. Makes perfect sense to me.

Ruth
x

Hi Felicity,

I didn’t want reconstruction (had op in March) and although I’m not huge, I also feel lop-sided. I’m hoping to have the other breast removed as it’s full of LCIS.
I think my feelings are more psychological than physical. Still matters though.

I have to wait a while as there are other health issues to get through and it’s not been that long since my initial mastectomy.

Go with whatever makes YOU comfortable (inside and out!)

best of luck,
love,
Jacki xx

Hi Felicity

I had a WLE so can’t comment from personal experience but I post on a US message board and a lot of the women there choose elective mastectomies. It’s a very personal thing and you are not mad in the slightest to be thinking this way.It is your body and your life so do whatever feels comfortable.

Lola x

Hi
I had mastectomy in February this year and although I have bought several mastectomy bras I feel very lop-sided. The silicon prosthesis seems to sink down towards my knees and the ‘softie’ travels up to my shoulder and both seem to move to the centre of my chest! I have decided not to have a reconstruction and would rather have the other breast removed before cancer has a chance to invade it. This would mean that the lymph nodes could stay in place on that side. I’m sure there are others who have elected to go down this route and I too would be interested to know if this is an acceptable procedure. I might ask my breast care nurse for some guidance.

Judith
X

I had my first mastectomy in 1996 and wore a prosthesis for a couple of years then unfortunately it did spread to my other breast and i had to have another mastectomy. I am very happy not to have reconstructions and use a fairly lightweight brand of prosthesis which is very comfortable. I use mastectomy bras with pockets.

Dawnhc

must say, it’s something that i keep thinking about - a lot

Hiya,

I had the same thoughts as you FelicityM.

I am quite large busted and could not imagine only having 1 breast.

I was advised by my surgeon that when I have a recon I can have my good breast reduced.

I have actually decided that at time of recon I would like my good breast removed and an immediate recon done on it.
Reasons being I want to reduce the risk of getting this awful disease back, also I can suffer with a weight problem and when I put on weight it usually goes on my chest so I would like both my boobs to be made up of the thing so any weight loss/gain both my breasts wil react the same.

My surgeon is happy to do this.

I had my mastectomy (on bad breast only) on tues 4th sept.

I have been told by my surgeon that it will be at least 6 months before I can have recon but shouldnt be any longer.

Regards

Julie

Hi Felicity
I am almost 2 years from initial diagnosis. Got through chemo, WLE, Lymph node clearance and mastectomy ok, but struggled immensely with the imbalanced look and just couldn’t come to terms with it. Had also decided against taking Tamoxifen due to family history of thrombosis and severe reaction when I did try it for a brief period, so I felt removal of the remaining breast would greatly reduce my risk of further cancer. I visualised byself with the other breast removed and went through all the scenarios I could think of, to ensure I made the right decision for me. I had to jump through a few hoops to satisfy my medical team that removal of my healthy breast was the right option, but the BCN and surgeon were very understanding. I did specify that I would only have the op if the surgeon didn’t touch my lymph nodes, as I had already lost all the nodes on the other side. For me it was definitely the right decision. I got to a point where I was changing my tops 4 or 5 times in a morning, as I just couldn’t achieve symmetry with the prosethis and my remaining breast. I also couldn’t bear my husband to touch my remaining breast or to see me naked and I felt so malformed. Reconstruction was going to be a very complicated op for me, as I am rather lean, so not much spare skin, tissue etc. to work with. Also, I did not want silicone implants, which would have been my only option. I probably sound very fussy, and I admit that I am. I think I have been a nightmare of a patient for my poor medical team! I had the second mastectomy (termed ‘risk reducing’ by the surgeon) last November and I have absolutely no regrets. I found it such a relief to be symmetrical again and although I obviously miss my breasts at times, I certainly don’t miss having one breast. It is a very personal decision, but for me it was definitely the right one. Give yourself time to think, and you’ll come to the right decision for you.
Good Luck
Starr

Felicity

You’re not going mad, I have the cancer in just one breast and I my fear was being lopsided, I’m large breasted and the surgeon would have had to do a reduction so I asked if he would remove both breasts, its something that I’ve always said I’d do since my mum died of breast cancer and I feel very strongly about it my surgeon and BCN both questioned me lots and made me feel as if I was abnormal wanting both gone, although I don’t think this was their intention. It’s not just for the reason of being lopsided but also for peace of mind, I’ll feel alot safer if both are gone, not sure if I’ll get an immediate recon but that’s not bothering me, at least I’ll be balanced. The only thing the surgeon said was that he’d like me to see someone that’s had bilateral mastectomy without recon and one with recon to check that I fully understand what I’m going to look like.

Best of luck

Debbie
x

I am now 16 mths down the line from a bilateral mastectomy. I had invasive lobular in the right breast and mastectomy was the really the only option due to size and position. The proposal was to also remove a number of lymph nodes (I think they took 7 or 9)

Somewhere in those early medical meetings, elective mastectomy of the other side was mentioned. I researched it and decided to ask for this, and the surgeon agreed, although I was asked to confirm my decision at every stage, right up to being wheeled into theatre. I was quite heavy busted, well to me anyway and I could not bear the thought of being lop-sided. along with the risk of occurrence in the 2nd breast.

I have never regretted this decision. I have not and doubt I would ask for reconstruction. I don’t even wear the prosthesis I was persuaded to have. I have a little flesh left but not much. I can’t really wear tops shaped to ‘cup’ the breast, but it is a small price to pay and doesn’t worry me… In fact in the summer I can wear little strappy tops with no bother :slight_smile:

However I was near 63 at the time of the operation which may have influenced my opinion. I was never shy of looking at my scars and my husband has been wonderfully supportive. I wish I could let you see what mine look like. Each time I look I think of the skill of the surgeon. I do have some problems still, but against leaving the cancer, they are nothing.

Hi Felicity,

I had a left mastectomy in '04 and opted to have a prophylactic right mastectomy in '05. I found being lopsided very difficult. I was a 34D cup, but now choose to wear two B cup “stick on” prostheses.I feel it’s unlikely I will opt for reconstruction at any time in the forseeable future. I do miss my breasts, but for me, having one was worse than having none! I have never regretted my decision.

Best wishes

Sx

I recently had a mastectomy of my right breast. In many ways I wish I had thought of asking for an elective mastectomy on the other. It was never mentioned to me and I think I was too shocked to even think straight in the lead up to the op. However, I now think that it would have been a sensible thing to consider and that in the long run I might have been less self concious about being lop-sided. Also a lot of the worry about a recurrence would have gone. Still, whats done is done and I can live with it but I don’t think it’s a strange idea at all.

God bless.

Christay