Recently Diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma


I was diagnosed January 28th with IDC and I am in the process of scheduling surgery. The course of action at this point is a lumpectomy with reduction followed by 8 weeks of Radiation. I am wondering if there are people who have had a reduction and radiation and their overall experience with this process. As I am waiting for a surgery date I keep going back and forth wondering if I should have a mastectomy. 

I am 51. E+ P+ HER2Negative Grade 1 If that helps

Thanks so much for your input and support. 

Hi tdkas - I didn’t have the same surgery/treatment as you, but I wanted to welcome you to the forum and to wish you all the best as you go through treatment. My diagnosis was very similar to yours, but I had node involvement too so had chemo and a mastectomy. If I can help with any questions please do ask, otherwise I hope others will be along soon to chat and share their experiences. Hugs, Evie xx

Hi tdkas,

Seconding Evie’s welcome to the forum!

I had lumpectomy, radiotherapy, Tamoxifen (hormone therapy) and 2 years later a reduction on the other side, which took 2 ops since they didn’t remove enough first time round (it’s easier if they do it all at the same time, since sometimes some tissue goes in the recovery after surgery (a few cells dying), hence they worry about the risk of removing too much if only operating on one side). They erred too much on the side of caution for me! Hope that makes sense! I guess what I’m trying to say is it’ll be easier for them to get a better result doing both sides at the same time re bc and reduction.

Good that it’s only grade 1. Mine was grade 2 stage 2, E+. 

Happy to answer any q’s you might have. I found the recovery from reduction much easier (and way less painful) than the recovery from the lumpectomy, since they have to be really careful in the way they remove the lump on the bc side.

Radiotherapy was relatively ok, I had some burning (which is temporary, and not everyone gets) and fatigue (which not everyone gets, and while it can go on awhile after the end of active treatment (for some women), it does go eventually)!

My oncologist told me that the statistical health outlook was fairly similar re lumpectomy with radio and hormone therapy v mastectomy. That was 6.5 years ago and I have a very high level of trust and respect for my medical team. Write down any q’s and ask your onc team or even your breast care nurse. Or even phone BCN and have a chat with one of the nurses?     

For me, I found being really lopsided post lumpectomy affected my back and posture. I also had a rare reaction to the prosthesis (so couldn’t wear it)…which made my lopsidedness all the more uncomfortable.

Mastectomy v breast conservation wasn’t actually offered or suggested and I’m pleased with the outcome of reduction and lumpectomy, so with hindsight I don’t think I’d have gone for mastectomy if it had been offered as an option. If you are seriously wondering about this though you might find it helpful to google flat friends, a group set up by women who have all had bc. Or even contact BCN and ask if you can speak to 2 women who took different approaches (I’d be more than happy to be one of them).   

Hormone therapy also helps reduce the risk of recurrence for oestrogen +ve bc. 

Is there anything in particular you’d like to know or would find it helpful to know? If you feel its a bit too personal to say on the online forum feel free to use the messaging/email facility to contact me directly.

Happy to help in anyway (that’s primarily why I’s still active on the forum, giving back re all the useful advice I got 6 years ago).

X Seabreeze 

Hi tdcas

As with the others, welcome to the forum, albeit in such horrible circumstances.

When I was given my eventual diagnosis, I didn’t pause to think. It was a no-brainer - get rid of the offending boob and let that be the end of it.

I have no regrets but, just in case you think - as I did - that a mastectomy will remove all risk of recurrence and therefore all worry, it’s not as simple as that. There is always the risk of recurrence - I have to check my scar for any unusual changes just as I would have had to check my reduced breast. I don’t feel maimed, I don’t feel less of a woman; the only inconvenience is finding the right bras and the right prothesis as my weight has increased for the first time ever - but that’s a minor beef. I do prefer checking a flat scar for changes but I’m fully aware the risk is still there. Is it minimised? I have never asked, which I am now thinking is somewhat strange!

If you consider a mastectomy over a lumpectomy, do ask your breast surgeon to compare the remaining risk factors for both so you make an informed decision (unlike me). I wish you all the best,

Jan x