My tumour was 37mm . I had a lumpectomy and auxiliary lymph node clearance. My surgeon advised a lumpectomy and I went with her advice, as at that point no further benefit having a mastectomy. After the op I was told they just about managed to get total clearance, but cancer in the lymph nodes. I had chemo and radiotherapy, and now take hormonal therapy for a total of 10 years.
I don't regret having a lumpectomy, but you have to do what feels right for you.
Hi Carolyn - as far as I know mastectomy scars always go across the middle of the breast, where the nipple used to be. Mine's just a couple of inches long, and has faded well. I'm not sure what happens in nipple-sparing mastectomies, but like I said below, I get the impression they're pretty rare anyway. I had reconstruction with an implant at the same time as my mastectomy, and the operation itself really wasn't bad at all. I wasn't ever in any pain even. Was pretty wobbly for about a week afterwards (turned out I was quite anaemic - iron tablets sorted that out), and was back to work a week after that. I think with some other forms of reconstruction you'd be out of circulation for quite a while longer. Best of luck to you today, whatever you decide x
Thank you for replying to my post. So you had the nipple conserving surgery on the NHS?
Thank you for replying. I am struggling to decide on surgery. I wasn't offered skin sparing mastectomy but I want to ask about with some knowledge.
A year ago I was were you are now, I thought that getting cancer meant a death sentence, I shed many tears and I felt terrified. A lumpectomy was recommended so that is what I had. The whole of the areola and the nipple had to be peeled back and re-sewn on (it sounds far worse than it actually was). I soon healed up nicely with no problems apart from sudden twinges in my breast, which were somewhat alarming but were apparently the nerve endings repairing themselves.The nipple and surround look just like the 'good' side but maybe very slightly darker. I was warned that I might lose feeling in the nerve endings of the nipple but I didn't. After my op I was informed that cancer was present in just under half of my lymph glands. I then had chemo and radiotherapy. Well the good news is that one year on I feel as fit as a fiddle and I have tons of energy. I have just had my first follow-up mammogram and there was no sign of cancer at all. It is the uncertainty and the fear of the unknown that is so frightening when you are at the beginning of all this. Now I am feel really fit and well, better than before my diagnosis in fact. I know how stressed you feel when you are at the very beginning of all this and how your mind is in a whirl. Yes it is tough but you will get through it - just take it one little step at a time.
Thank you for replying to my post. I have spent quite a bit reading other sections on this forum. It's a wonderful website as it really does show just how many women there are dealing with this disease. I have had to pull back from reading as I was starting to run ahead of myself with the amount of information and the range of experiences shared on here. I have got to get Monday out of the way first. At the moment it would seem that I am to be offered the chance of keeping my breast but I am at the stage of just wanting everything taken away, both breats ( ovaries etc too if I could) ...but I am not expecting to get that as there is nothing in my other breast. It's just a panic reaction I know but I am still going to ask on Monday if they would take away both breasts. Are the scars in a skin saving operation similar to pictures you see of breast implants which are done for cosmetic reasons, by that I mean tucked away under the beast? How long is recover? I realise I know so little about everything.
So sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It's just such a horrible shock isn't it? You know though you are most definitely NOT alone. So many of us have been where you are, and have come out the other side. It's a good thought to hold on to.
I had a skin-sparing mastectomy last year. I didn't get to keep the nipple though - in fact I think it's very rare to keep the nipple after a mastectomy, as it's breast tissue, and there's too big a chance of the cancer coming back in it. My cancer was the same size as yours, but there was an area of dodgy tissue around it that couldn't be biopsied properly so needed to come out too. What with removing that, and some healthy tissue to get a clear margin, I would have lost an awful lot of my (A-cup) breast, so mastectomy was the best option for me. I had immediate reconstruction, and really the whole procedure was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be.
Do please ask if you want more details. I think generally breast surgeons will try all they possibly can to save the breast, but sometimes, even for cosmetic reasons, it just doesn't work. It might be worth asking your consultant on Monday how much disfigurement you would have after a lumpectomy. I know some ladies have really fantastic results from it though - and what a bonus to actually get to keep your breast 🙂
Best of luck with whatever you decide on Monday. Will be thinking of you.
Hi Carolyn, Glad you joined I spent weeks just reading then plucked up courage to join in and haven't looked back..
Diagnosed March large lump offered lumpectomy and rads performed In April. No mention of mastectomy.Results following lumpectomy showed unclear margins then offered mastectomy and reconstruction now 12 days post operation. Very happy with reconstruction but wished I'd had it straight away and not waited. Once you've had the initial treatment you become non emergency and may have to wait longer. Hope this helps . Sarah
Hi Carolyn,I can't help with that particular query but I'm sure someone will be along soon to talk to you who has first hand hand experience.Glad you got the courage to post!!!This is a really valuable source of information and support.I was diagnosed end of may and have had lumpectomy and I am now about to start radiotherapy.Your lump in very small at 1cm, mine was 15mm ,is there a particular reason they are offering you a different kind of surgery?
My second mammogram resulted in a recall and I got my breast cancer diagnosed last Wednesday. I don't need to write how I am currently feeling as I suspect everyone has been there. I am terrified that I make the wrong choice of surgery on Monday. The tumour is 1cm, do not know if it has spread to lymph nodes as not tested yet. Offered lumpectomy with rad and hormone treatment, but also offered breast reduction with the same follow on treatment. What I am wondering is...has anyone had the skin saving mastectomy with or without nipple saving?? It's taken me three days to be brave enough to come on here and Monday is hurtling towards me.