Lumpectomy vs mastectomy??

Any advice greatly appreciated!!

I’m 36 and was recently diagnosed with bc; mother died of bc at 41. Had meeting with consultant today for treatment plan. He’s basically given me some options, as we don’t know if my bc is genetically inherited. I can either have: a) lumpectomy, chemo and rads, b) Left mastectomy and chemo, or c) bilateral mastectomy and chemo. What a blooming decision to have to make! He was very kind though and gave me until Monday to decide :wink: I’m going to be genetically tested but unfortunately the results will take a few months to come back, and I obviously can’t delay treatment until then. I’m really torn about what to do. Part of me thinks; just whip them both off and be done with it, but another part of me just wants to go with the least invasive option. Please tell me what you’d all do in my situation!?!? Oh, and if anyone out there’s had mastectomy can you tell me how bad it was pain/recovery wise.

Caro xx

Hi Caro, what a dilemma, having to make the decision yourself. I wasn’t given a choice, I had WLE, then re-excision for clear margins. I asked my surgeon wouldn’t it be better to remove the breast but she said no, not if they could get clear margins. I don’t have any family history like you though. I’ve seen several posts giving the same advise though, when talking about choices in treatments; ask the oncologist what they would advise if it was their wife/sister/mother. Sorry I can’t be more helpful but I’m sure others will be along who will be. Take care, Pat x


Caro, looking at this with cold logic, I would go with (a) lumpectomy, etc. as it’s the least invasive. Then if your genetic tests are negative you won’t have lost a whole breast or breasts for ‘nothing’! And if the test is positive you can decide if you want a single or double mastectomy if doc still thinks this is required.
Best of luck, Sue

I would like to add I think it’s wrong of the surgeon not to give you guidance. I know the NHS is now meant to be all about choice but, God, what a choice to have to make! You might ask her what she’d do if she were in your shoes.

Thanks everybody for your thoughts/advice; much appreciated!

Sue - I understand what you’re saying, but knowing I might have an 80% chance of the cancer recurring if I do have a faulty gene is kinda scary. Also, I’d be worried that the cancer comes back in the next few months whilst I’m waiting for the results of my genetic test. And, the genetic tests aren’t always that conclusive apparently. I don’t blame my consultant for giving me the options, as he knows I have some medical background and that I understand the statistics etc. as much as he does, so I wouldn’t actually want him making the decision for me. Also, he’s a colleague of my husband’s (my husband’s a consultant neurosurgeon in the same hospital) so maybe he’s hesitant to take responsibility for the decision?! Either way, I do feel it’s my decision to make. I’m seriously considering flipping a coin…!