It sounds like you're having a difficult time making this decision. As hopefulholly has mentioned you may find it helpful to give the BCC helpline a call. Here you can share your thoughts and concerns with someone who will offer you a listening ear as well as support and practical information. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open weekdays 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm.
Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator
Hi jojo, I had the same diagnosis (grade 2 invasive ductal cancer, 11mm) in April and faced the same choice - I chose lumpectomy. Before my diagnosis I always thought that I'd want a mastectomy if I had breast cancer and couldn't understand when 2 friends of mine had lumpectomies. Of course, it's different when it happens to you and I never thought it would be a decision that I'd have to make.
The consultant told me the long term outcomes for mastectomy and lumpectomy were the same but the choice was mine. I asked why women in my situation choose mastectomy, he said that some feel better knowing that the cancer can't return in that breast. I have large boobs and as the tumour was under my breast (in the lower quadrant below the nipple), I'm left with a small scar and slight indentation, hardly enough to notice - I joked that I'd walk with a limp if I'd had a mastectomy because of the size of my boobs (I'm not bragging, I'd actually prefer smaller breasts)! Of course, for many women a lumpectomy isn't an option.
I was fortunate to have clear margins but, if I hadn't, I was preparing myself emotionally for a mastectomy. At the end of the day, only you can make the decision based on what's right for you. Have you discussed it with your breast care nurse or phoned the helpline here? I've phoned a couple of times and found it really helpful and informative.
It is a shock at first but it will get easier. I agree about being on a treadmill. I took advice from here, the helpline and did my own research then took a break from the forum to give myself the time and space to make my decisions. You have time to make yours and I'm sure you'll feel better once a decision is made, I know I did when I had another difficult decision to make about chemotherapy.
I wish you the the very best. If you feel up to it, let me know what you decide. Take care X
Yes it comes as a real shock when you are first told and you are left reeling and frightened but you will calm down a bit as time goes on. How does breast look after lumpectomy? Well my lump was a bit bigger than yours (17mm) - now my breast is just slightly smaller on one side and instead of looking perfectly spherical there is a slight dip or 'wavy groove' underneath but to be perfectly honest with you I just wear an ordinary bra the same as I did before (except it is non-wired, as advised by the doctors) and just stuff some padding in it to even up the look (because my T-shirts veer over to the other side sometimes). In fact I hardly think about the change to my breast now because I am enjoying life too much - I certainly don't look at it in the mirror every day. Yes I fretted that time was pressing on and I wanted them to just hurry up and get the lump out of me. You will have a long slog in front of you and you will think that it is never going to end but it does eventually. Here's the good news. It is about a year since I was diagnosed and I can tell you truthfully that I feel fantastic now, full of the joys of life! I had a lumpectomy, then chemotherapy (won't lie - I felt really ill with that) then radiotherapy (found that easy). Just take things one step at a time, day by day. Anything else you want to know love don't be afraid to ask.