Mastectomies, Do I? or dont I?

Hello,
I was diagnosed with BC on 4th Feb 2011, I had a Lumpectomy, Chemo and intensive Radiotherapy.
I am now on Tamoxifen for another 4 Years and have Zoladex Injections every 28 days for at least another year and a half.
I’ve had genetic testing but couldnt’t have it on the NHS so will have to wait 9 - 12 months for the results, i’ve also had a chromosome test and the results should take about 6 weeks.
One of the oncology doctors has referred me to the plastic surgeons cos i’m seriously considering having a bilateral mastectomy,but i need to no all the facts bout it first, so that is what they will discuss with me. Im so fed up waiting for the appointment cos atm i just want to have it done but i may well change my mind when i get all the information.
Hs anyone had it done? what was it like after? were you happy with the results?
Any information would be grateful if anyone has gone throught the same feelings etc.

Many thanks

Becky xxx

Hi Becky-we have been through exactly the same as each other and almost at the same time. I had lumpectomy on March 1st and am about to have my last dose of chemo. i have got to have zoladex and tamoxifen too, also radiotherapy to chest wall after bilateral mastectomies. I have made the decision to have bilateral mastectomies due to 10 women in mum’s family having had BC before age 50. My mum and her sisters were tested for BC genes but none were found, but the doctors think it has to be genetic with such a high rate in the family. I had to see a counsellor to make sure I was making an informed decision. She has now written to the surgeon to suggest that the op goes ahead. Have also spoken to the oncologist and he has written to surgeon to recommend that the op is done as soon as possible after chemo finishes. I am going to see surgeon on Wednesday to discuss dates etc. i have decided not to have recon, which is a difficult decision but is the right one for me. But now it all seems so close and I am very scared of what I will look like after the op, though my mum has had double mx so I do know what to expect.
I too would appreciate some advice from women who’ve been through this especially concerning feelings after the op and how long it takes to recover physically.
Not sure I’ve been any help to you, Becky. But it’s nice to know you’re not on your own I think
Hugs
Rachel x

Hi Becky
I was diagnosed March 2010 and had a left mastectomy,chemo,radiotherapy,Herceptin and am on Tamoxifen.I was referred to genetics as I had a strong family history of BC.The results were that they couldn’t find a faulty gene but due the family history they said it maybe a faulty gene that hasn’t been found yet.On this basis they said they would support my request for a right risk reducing mastectomy.
I have seen the breast surgeon and he has agreed to carry it out and have also seen the plastic surgeon who has agreed to do a reconstruction to both sides and am scheduled to have this done in November this year after my holiday.
Obviously it is an important decision and not one I took lightly but for me it is important for me to know that I have done everything I possibly can to stop this happening again.Having had one mastectomy and living with a prosthesis for 16 months I was quite happy to have the other mastectomy without reconstruction but they said they would prefer to do it all at the same time.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Tracy
x

Hi Becky

I had a mx (one side) a year ago, and my opinion is I wouldn’t have done it unless I had to.

I can’t understand how on earth you have to wait so long for test results?? If I had the genetic test and found out I was high risk, I’d probably go for the bilateral mx. Otherwise, not. It depends to some extent how active you are, but I’ve found the surgery pretty disabling, even a year down the line. I can do most things, but it hurts. The WLE I had first was a doddle by comparison. xxx Jane