treatment and mastectomy

Hello everyone
I had a lumpectomy and node biopsy on April 10th,(invasive Ductal) got my results today, the Good news was that the Nodes were clear, The Bad news was that the lump was bigger than they thought and they were not sure that they had got it all, and I may have another lump. Booked me in for MX on in May. I am confused… as befor the Op they said I had one lump and would get Hormone theapy and Radio theapy, Today they said after the MX I Probably wouldn’t need any more treatment, Am I being Paranoid or are they just not telling me the truth. Not that I want to have chemo or Radio theapy, But I just want it killed off. Any One with similar experience… Maver

As I understand it, a WLE and radiotherapy together are the equivalent of mastectomy. Sorry I cant be more helpful - it is awful feeling like this - maybe give your BCN a ring and they can hopefully give you some more information, I found them really useful when I came away from an appointment and felt that I had not been told everything.


I think it’s just an ever changing situation depending on what turns up at each stage.

Confusing and frustrating I know.

I was same, the girls in at the same time as me for my node biopsy were getting lumpectomies, then chemo… I was getting mastectomy and very unlikely chance of other therapies… Now I’m getting the lot because of what turned up in the biopsy.

It can be difficult getting your head round one decision only to have it all changed. Like you I am at the beginning of my journey. Good luck with it all And like annew says ask your bc nurse to explain it. Xx

Hi Maver,

I also had a mx in November whilst others who had wle had rads afterwards so “emptying out” the breast does seem to reduce the other treatments needed unless the cancer has spread into nodes in which case it seems to need a full attack. I was pleased they told me I needed a mx, I was worried I might be offered the choice …

You didn’t mention whether you had been offered a recon? They went through all the options at my first dx appointment. I’d probably have settled for the easiest version of an implant but my daughters persuaded me that while I was under the GA I might as well go for the most long-lasting and natural version so I opted for a DIEP. The booklets sounded scarier than it really was, and the op wasn’t nearly as long…six hours for the mx and recon.
If it’s done at the time of the mx they can usually do a skin sparing mx, which means they just take out the tissue through the aerola, so there’s less scarring. It’s even possible to have a nipple sparing mx, though I wasn’t suitable for that.

This is the time to be finding out as much as you can, so as the others say, do cntact the BCN. Some ladies prefer to go with the mx and leave it ati that, for me, staying as much like my old self as possible was important so I felt lucky I could have the DIEP recon.

Best wishes, it’s a very up and down journey especially in the diagnosis phase, I was sent for SO many tests, I was really worried at the time.

I have at least 2 lumps in different quarters of my right breast. Am currently having 6 x Fec-T chemo then will have to have MX and recon on 7th July followed by rads followed by Herceptin!!!

I think a MX is required if several lumps found but everyone’s treatment seems to be different.

Good luck

Hi Maver

I was originaly diagnosed in 2010 with DCIS and had a lumpectomy where they discovered invasive ductal cancer, nodes clear, They did not get clear margins so I was offered a further lumpectomy or a mastectomy. I opted for mastectomy and the only other treatment has been Tamoxifen (with few side effects).


I was told by my surgeon that lumpectomy or WLE needs radiotherapy to “sterilise” the breast tissue that is left, whereas with a mastectomy there is no tissue left so radiotherapy is not actually needed although I understand that some treatment plans include radiotherapy in any event.

I was very lucky, I had chemo first which shrank my large lump so I had a WLE followed by radiotherapy.

As I understand hormone therapy has no bearing in this, its all to do with the ER status of the lump.

hmm, I’m having chemo before surgery to shrink my tumour although the oncologist and surgeon say a mastectomy might still be necessary. the oncologist told me that if I have a mastectomy, they’d do the reconstruction after radiotherapy.

Just sharing to add to the confusion, hehe!

I think all hospitals and surgeons have their own preference. I was told exactly the same as you. My lump was 45mm and told I would definitely have chemo to try and shrink but that I would probably still need mastectomy due to position (right in middle). But the chemo was brilliant and shrunk it to dead cells, so just had WLE and rads. Was also told that if I had needed mastectomy, reconstruction would be available after rads.

Thankyou Ladies,
Your comments have been somewhat reassuring, Will have to call the BCC, trying too get my thoughts and questions straight first.

Samlee. Yes I thought the RADS mopped up anything that was left,

Jennifer. I would have Opted for Mastectomy too, had I been given the choise, they said there ‘might’ be another Cancer in there, I would have thought that would have shown up on the mamagram or ultrasound befor! I was suppose to have the Hormone theapy about now, but they did,nt mention it this time.

Nonsuch. You didn’t get any other treatment either then? I was offered a recon, either at the MX or later, but said no for various reasons, Havn’t had any other tests! as yet anyway

Eli. yes, It is very confusing, get a treatment plan, and then everything changes to exactly the opposite. How long along the path are you?

Thank you All for all your comments

Hi Maver

It can all get a bit confusing when speaking to others as all of us seem to have varied treatment regimes even if our cancers are the same or similar. It very much depends on your hospital and oncologist it seems.

I too am having an Mx in May. I have just finished chemo which I started in November 2011 after an initial lumpectomy was unsuccessful and I have a couple of areas in my right breast and 2 types of cancer (never do things by half me!)

My op is on 4th May. Certainly very apprehensive, the thought of losing my breast horrifies me but I actually think if the surgeon asked me to make the choice I would have probably opted for the Mx. My node biopsy showed 2 of 3 nodes affected so I will be having a full node clearance too - thats probably the most painful bit. I had cording after my initial op - so tender. I already doing my exercises ready for the op. I will also have RADS once healed from the op.Recon will be in 12 months.

I wish you well for your treatment, really wish you didn’t have to be here, but you are, and we all share this journey together.

God Bless


Hi Libralady, Thanks for your imput, Yes, We just have to hope our Hospital does the best for us! I’m Sorry to hear about your MX, try not to be too horrified at losing your breast, If it gets rid of the cancer, thats whats important!, and I hear the reconstuctions are really good these days. My Best Wished for 4th May. Maver