Becky the young girl who had the preventative double masectomy, was also followed in a doco, from deciding to go for genetic testing throu to her reconstruction, called My breasts and I, have a search for this and see what you think. Again it is her personal journey but has a different outcome obviously to Dawn's, hope you can find it x
Jane, thank you for posting that web address.
I declined a reconstruction and accept how I look with no regret.
My operation has changed my life forever, but it hasn't crushed it.
Wholeheartedly agree and if I detailed my experiences here I'd be given a red card so better keep it buttoned.
Might PM you when I get a mo'
Thank you for the website which I shall certainly look at.
I didnt see the programme. I have had a mastectomy and note NICE guidelines that reconstruction should be discussed at the outset. I accept that some people are not suitable for immediate reconstruction (and from what I know that seems most). However I have never ever to date had any information about a reconstruction. I was just told well its a mastectomy. That was it. Not well I am afraid it's a mastectomy but you can have a reconstruction later if you wish. The availability and information about reconstructions is patchy to say the least. There seem to be very few surgeons who are able to do reconstructions. More who can take it off but not rebuild it. I accept that the first priority is to get rid of cancer but feel that we are all paniced into making instant decisions.
I didn't see this progamme but just wanted to say how much I agree with Geraldine about the one sided view which is given to women about mastectomy and reconstruction. And yes, sadly this view is reinforced by some woman with breast cancer who use words such as deformity and mutilation to describe their experiences of mastectomy.
NICE guidelines say that everyone with early stage breast cancer should be given the option of reconstution but the guidelines do not also say that drawbacks of reconstruction should be explained nor the positives of not having reconstruction.
There's a good website called breastfree.org which is very positive about mastectomy.
I felt the programme did not give a completely accurate view of breast cancer and mastectomy. I felt it gave the impression that everyone can have an immediate reconstruction following mastectomy, or that this would be what everyone would want. As someone who could not have an immediate reconstruction and has subsequently chosen not to have one, I felt the programme ignored women in the same position. I've already come across people (some of them on this site) who have a negative view of women who don't opt for reconstruction. I feel this programme, whilst informative in some ways, helped to compound the view that a "real" woman will chose reconstruction. It did not even mention some of the difficulties associated with reconstructive surgery e.g additional scarring, loss of mobility, risk of rejection and I feel trivialised the procedure as if it were no more than another form of cosmetic surgery. It left me feeling uncomfortable as if reconstruction was no more difficult than having silicon implants, teeth whitening or hair extensions. Not comfortable viewing.
hi its jude i thought id tell people about my journey with the nhs
and by the sounds of it ive been extremely lucky
i went to my gp and told her i wanted a genetic test as my sister has brca1
she immediately sent me for breast ultrasound as i had alot of pain and lumps
thankfully ive only got mastitus
from there she sent me to a genetics and after 6 months of counciling i had my test which proved i was a brca1 carrier
6months later i had my oopherectomy as a preventive
ive been offered a double masectomy with immediate reconstruction which i cancelled as im not brave enough yet
i live in northamptonshire and had my genetics and oopherectomy in oxford
thankfully for me the nhs have been fantastic and im also on a yearly breast mri scan while i decide when to have masectomy
i feel very lucky and guilty that other ladies have not been given the choices i have
keep pushing your gps its your life and your right
My mother died from bilateral metastatic breast cancer and I had 5 maternal aunts with the disease and my only sister was diagnosed (bilateral again) at 31. I think Dawn'sprogramme was a disgrace. She squealed through her mammogram which could discourage other women who have one done. She got a screening MRI - which is not available in any NHS hospital I have ever been in - and also had walk in genetic testing which is not routinely offered. Even with my appalling family history my three daughters and I cannot have genetic testing because neither my mum or sister (both bilateral sufferers) have the BRACA 1 or 2 mutation.
Dawn giggled about the Gerson method after having tried it for just a few hours and giving it up because she found it embarrassing ! Cancer patients resort to Gerson when they are very scared and desperate and that's never a laughing matter.
Her programme was misleading to any woman who relies on the NHS for screening and/or treatment - as has been said reconstructions often aren't immediate or as good as the one she showed.
I am glad Dawn's tests results were good, the tests that the majority of women in this country wouldn't be offered if they turned up at an NHS hospital. So the programme clearly wasn't informative and it certainly wasn't entertaining - so what was it for ?
For anyone who missed this, it's on SKY 2 at 10.00pm tonight and tomorrow. Thought I'd send a reminder as it's certainly provoked many thoughts!
Lots of love to all xxx
hi its jude again, it was dawns own journey and as close as you can get to mine except for the result as im a brca1 carrier im 35 and had preventive oopherectomy last year
the difference is if unfortunately your diagnosed with breast cancer your choices are very limited
if your lucky like me and can prevent it we are offered different options and thankfully one is to have a double masectomy with immediate recon and fantastic boobs like the young girl in the programme has
we are the lucky ones and wish that all ladies including cancer sufferers had our options and i do feel guilty at what im offered as like the ladies say once you have bc they take the whole thing away
It was a good programme with some plus points but i must admit Dawn was too self indulgent for my liking and too over dramatic.
oh my god this program was excellent and dawn went through my exact journey
my mum died at 45 with ovarian my nan died at 30 of the same my great gran had breast and my sister had breast at 28 thankfully with hysterectomy and mesectomy she is now ok
i found out 2years ago that im a brca1 carrier but knew we had a bad gene before results it was obvious so last year i had a oopherectomy as a preventive and considering double masectomy
i felt lucky that i can find out now before it gets me and do as much as i can to lower my high risk
my family werent so lucky thankgod for todays science i have a chance that they didnt have
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I watched this and although I agree it was Dawn's personal journey the bit that stuck out for me was the girl that had opted for the preventative double mastectomy, she kept her own nipples and her boobs were great. My hubby and I were bowled over! No this will not be what my reconstructed boobs will look like but It became a real option for us to consider and discuss with our daughter if she carries the gene. There is no history before me for breast cancer in my family but it has to start somewhere. It made us both feel so much better that there would be options for our daughter should the need arise and from that point it was very useful and put our minds at rest, she is only 5 at the moment but you do worry about the future for her!
Snottrags I agree you have to be desperate to put coffee up your bottom......
I have to say I watched both parts of this program and although I do feel for Dawn losing her mum - did find in parts I was getting annoyed with her - even my hubby was getting cross with the over dramatisation. I know how result waiting can be difficult - We have all been there.
also the recon - Now I have not needed this as had just lump removed but we got not a real reflection of what a true recon is - rather than a preventative one.
I wish they had spent time going through the ladies having treatment and the real emotions the ladies with secondaries have to go through.
on the funny side - I can't imagine having to put coffee up my bottom!!!
I found it very emotional and informative too. However, they did seem to imply that every woman needing a mastectomy is offered an immediate reconstruction - indeed after reading various articles in the media I was under that impression too - until my diagnosis when I was refused an immediate recon. They didn't show any mastectomy scars, maybe it is too taboo?
At least someone has made a programme and put out on prometime!What appalled me was how younger women had to badger docters to get anyone to take them seriously.
As an introduction to the subject it was quite good-now all we need is one for us older ladies ie those over 50.Car
Hi all.... although I found the programme interesting and moving in parts It was the reconstruction of the young girl that opted for the
preventative double mastectomy ...I was soooooo jealous when she revealed her boobs cos I can tell you I have had a LD flap recon and it doesnt look anything like that I havent even got a nipple ..I think it was misleading to say the least if you were deciding about recon and were yet to have it done they would sure to be disappointed .
Hi, just though I'd mention, I noticed this was on Sky again last nigt so looks like repeats are being shown.
Lots of love xx
Just wanted to add that like Dawn and many women here, I also lost my mother to cancer and so fully empathise with her 'personal journey'. I don't necessarily think people are knocking Dawn personally, we all I'm sure sympathised with her losing her mum and the fear of awaiting results (which thankfully for her all turned out OK). Some moments were, however, less comfortable for those of us who are living through this thing. For instance, whilst I am thrilled that DP hasn't got cancer and is now on yearly screenings, I found myself uneasy when she described the mastectomy as being 'not as gory as I expected' and this oould have come across as quite an 'easy' operation, especially when she was saying to the patient, "so that's it, it's all gone" ... well, let's hope so! Sure this was an emotional programme, especially that poor woman who has little time left and had the dignity to hug Dawn and say she felt sorry for HER! Personally I was not amused when DP interviewed that lady who had had double mastectomy and asked her, "so, what will you do about future relationships, how will you deal with that?" and then giggled with the lady when she said, "well, I'm not going to flop it out and say, I've got a surprise for you". This lady was amazingly strong and god bless her courage, but I didn't find it something to giggle about and I'm sure that all the ladies who's recon's have not turned out as well (and who are terrfied about future relationships or the rejection they've suffered with new partners) would not have found it so funny either! Also, I agree with Irene's comment about the girl who had double preventative mast and displayed 2 beautiful breasts etc. Dawn said, "this makes me think that this could be a possibiliy for me". That's fine but I wonder how she'd have responded if she saw the results of so many on here who haven't had such perfect results!
Yes, this was Dawn's personal journey and no-one else's. I just felt at times it was portrayed as if she was in the 'same place' (she is not!) as all the women on the documentary and, happily, she wasn't. Thankfully, Dawn was given good news each time and didn't have to suffer the horror of bad results, fna's, core biopies, mastectomy, chemo ... etc.
I think Dawn was brave to do this programme, just think parts of it could have been better and more thoughtfully portrayed (especially for all the women suffering this horrible disease for real), that's all.
Lots of love to all xx
Hi again..Dawn would have been offered an MRI rather than a mammogram as mammograms are not as good at detecting cancer in younger women's breasts as they are much denser..younger being under 35.
Again with her family history she could well have been eligible for an MRI on the NHS.
I discussed this very thing with my genetic councellor a few days ago..if there's an issue of costs in my daughter's case (costs were mentioned) I will pay for her to have them privately for both her's and mine's peace of mind.
Annoyed I missed this programme/programmes. I did visit Dawn's website..so very sad she lost her Mum at such a young age. x
i watched both episodes after reading it was an emotional and personal journey that Dawn Porter was on. IT WAS HER JOURNEY,NOT YOURS, NOT MINE, HERS !!!!! Was the programme rubbish ? to all the women who participated in it, it certainly wasn't rubbish..no where near it. To each and every one of us our journey if thats what we want to call it has been so different but still the negativity prevails, because it doesnt suit certain people, why should it ? this pogramme was about Dawn Porters experience. Lets face it we could all do a separate programme about our own experiences couldnt we, so do we all start knocking that ??? Dawn Porter hasn't had breast cancer fortunately but she lost her mother to this disease at the age of 6. As a mother of a 5 yr old diagnosed when he was aged one 1 i found the whole programme highly emotional. Did she play up to the camera..... erm well it was her project and surely as we all know going through the terror of scans etc i could understand her fear, and obviously losing her mother so young well who knows what impact that could have had. Did she mention lumpectomies ? For me who has had a lumpectomy i didnt feel offended that she never mentioned this, why would i, it was her personal journey through this.
Perhaps its just me
Just shows how we are all so different and have our own opinions I felt priveliged to be going through her personal journey and hey if Sky paid her scans lucky her ! yes we are all not so lucky but she was embarking on an emotional trip and it was not some actress they employed that knew nothing of breast cancer.. She lost her mother . I think she knows the serious impact of breast cancer.
I do agree though that this could have been covered in
one episode but to say she has sensationalised breast cancer ....words fail me, she lost her mother. Delighted that she got good results but yeah doesnt mean she has won the lottery she still needs to be vigilant !!!
which i am sure she will be.
I absolutly and totally agree that you and your family should have all of these tests and glad that they do. I also agree that the genetic testing research has a long way to go and DP should not be too complacent. BUT, this was another point not realy examined on air, though maybe it was edited.
The fact that she was making a TV prog def put a dif slant on her story. I wish her no ill will. I think she should have been able to have the blood test and mamo, but don't think an expensive mri was appropriate when some others with proven BC, don't get it unless they pay privately and not everyone can afford that.
Good luck to all who are considering a re-con, but please get well informed before you embark, not all of the end results look like the ladies on this prog.
I thought the programme was good in parts (it looked at things from a young woman's viewpoint, did at least mention breast cancer in men, and acknowledged alternative treatments exist) but really in 2 hours more could have been done.
Totally agree with the comments on recon - I am on my 2nd version which is ok but I will feel deformed every day of my life. The programme didn't make it clear that chemo is usually at least 6 cycles of 3 weeks, or show much about radiotherapy.
Overall, though, I would have welcomed watching this around the time of diagnosis to be introduced to some of the jargon if nothing else.
Hi didn't see the programme but have gone through genetic testing and due to Dawn's Mum dying of breast cancer at such a young age Dawn would have been eligible for any NHS genetic testing/counselling/screening.
I really hope Dawn also made it known that you are not necessarily all ok if you don't carry the BRCA gene mutations. There are many as yet undiscovered genes that lead to a family having a related history of cancer. My Mum died of ovarian cancer last year, she was 70, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in my early 40's and Mum's father died of prostate cancer..all related cancers..but I don't have either BRCA 1 or 2 mutation. Most patients with a family history also won't have the BRCA gene mutations. Thanks to my fantastic (NHS) genetic clinic my bloods were tested 100% (some clinics will only check 60%) My sister now has early yearly mammograms and has had an oopherectomy (all on the NHS) and my daughter will be offered early MRI's of her breasts before going onto yearly mammograms when she reaches 35..plus she will be offered ovarian screening with the option of surgery in her late 30's early 40's.
I am affraid I have to agree with Diepcat. And I too feel bad for saying this, but I did think she came across as playing to the camera and sensationalising everything.
The poor young lady of 28 who kept her nipples ended up with a fantastic boob job. I, as yet, have not had a recon, but my BC nurse showed me photos of middling outcomes, ie not the best or the worst, and believe me, they looked pretty awful.
I also don't think enough was said about the mutilation caused when the muscle is removed from the back and brought forward into the empty boob skin. My friend has had this proceedure, and she was virtually diasabled for several weeks. I have also noticed that now the hot weather is here and she is wearing strappy tops, her right shoulder area is quite deformed (ie, missing some muscle) and her shoulder is boney, ie, no flesh covering.
So, putting all of these points together, I do think that the programme made light of the subject, and def only concentrated on the brilliant results of a few.
But to sum up, I am also very glad that DP does not have to face this diesease, and her gamble to make this programme and get tested paid off. I did wonder who paid for all the tests though?! I had lymph node involvement, and my med team simply refused to let me have any sort of scan. And yes, I am a bit bitter about this when I see others getting it. I just hope either DP or the production company paid for these tests.
I felt that the programme wasn't particularly realistic, the ladies that had reconstruction looked and said they felt fab but that's not what comes across on here always. Also, they gave DP a mammogram, I was told if you are young and/or have dense breast tissue, lumps won't show. That happened in my case and they had to use ultrasound to pinpoint it for biopsy. I think it showed extremes, the very young girl who had a twin sister, she had spread to spine as drs didn't act quick enough because of her age. And the lady who had prophylactic mast - her boobs looked fantastic and she'd been able to keep her nipples. Maud I agree with you, that glimpse of the lady who'd had the mast when she was in the bra shop spoke volumes... I do agree that any programme highlighting bc and it's effects, and the need for more research is admirable, and the ladies who'd made up memory boxes for their children just broke my heart, but the stats were wrong as seemed to be other snippets of medical info featured.
My view of the programmes was that they didn't give a realistic view of reconstruction. The lovely young girl who had elected to have a bilateral mastectomy showed off two beautiful breasts, she was able to keep her own nipples. The other lady whose operation they filmed was sitting up looking lovely and just showing part of her newly reconstructed breast and Dawn Porter was all "Oh my gosh! Isn't it wonderful - you are back to normal now".
The only realistic part was when they were in the mastectomy bra shop and there was a brief glimpse of the lady who had had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction - at least she didn't look like someone who had had a boob job!
thats exactly what i said diepcat,she was irritating me and im not easily irritated! I also thought that she was a little bit condesending at times...i was so disappointed i mite right to sky and see if they want to document me 🙂 with my bald head bloated tummy,brown and white skin,white tongue and black eyes! lol,there was another programe on channel four on monday about teenagers fighting cancer that i missed due to being at holistic therapy my aunty said it was far better and very moving,im going to watch it later on the internet. take care all x
So glad you all commented before I opened my big gob! I too was hopeful that this would be helpful but was very disappoionted. I really felt for the genuine BC women but couldn't help thinking (and please forgive me for saying this as it could just be my cynical mind) that Dawn was, at times, 'playing' at being the terrified cancer patient. OMG sorry, that sounds awful as I do like her and empathised with her losing her mum (like many, I lost mine too).
Lots of love to all x
I also thought it was poor when she was being shown how to self examine - they made no mention of also checking your armpit for lumps, dimpled or thickened skin or inverted nipples...
Watched both of these programmes with interest.
Couple of points:
- No mention was made of lumpectomies. They seemed to concentrate purely on mastectomies and how devastating they can be. Many women now have the choice of a lumpectomy and I felt this could have been pointed out but I guess it doesn't have the emotive power of a mastectomy!
- Dawn Porter said BC was the biggest killer of women in the UK. I had thought that was heart disease. And lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer of women. Wish they'd get their facts right!
Excuse my ignorance but are you able to see Sky 1 on your computer? This programme sounds interesting but I haven't got Sky.
Thank you Rhapsodyangel. Hopefully this will be very informative and useful, esecialy for those deciding whether or not to have ops etc.
Love the piccy of that beautiful dog! I miss my 2 so much x
Lots of love to everyone. Cathy x
Thanks for that - just put it in the planner so my chemo brain cant forget to watch it!!
Not sure how many of you will have heard this program is on tomorrow night... there is also a second part on Tuesday night...
It is about a reporter with a strong family history finding out if she has a brac gene fault and meeting various patients...