I forgot to mention, there may be another possible option which I read about on this forum. Some hospitals now offer a lipofill process whereby they fill in dents or hollows left after lumpectomy with your own fat. They harvest fat from your thighs or tummy (if you've got spare fat), extract the stem cells from that then inject it into the breast. Unlike the old fashioned type of lipofill it doesn't get absorbed into the body so shouldn't need doing again.
A few women on here have reported great results with this procedure.
thank you all so much. seeing breast cancer nurse tomorrow. leaning towards lumpectomy with radio at the moment but operation is booked for three weeks time so still have time to change my mind. glad you are all doing so well!!
hi rosanne, i am 45 and had no choice it was mx, but given the choice would have taken that anyway...you will decide whats right for you but i would have other breast off in an instant if need be but thats me everyone is different hugs to you xxx
first of all, sorry that you are here having to make this sort of decision. Dont know about you but this time three months ago I thought that cancer was something other people got, and am still bemused to find myself undergoing treatment.
anyway I am 65 and only needed a WLE. I am never going to go topless again, and with my bingowings do not intend to wear strappy tops over again. But both me and my husband care that I still look ok in the flesh.
so there are three things to think about.
recovery time-- three weeks after a WLE or a bit longer if they need to do another op to get it all out. Longer for mx and reconstruction. But the end result is good if they are going to do the other boob and so time invested now could be worth it. the daily treck for radiotherapy is a bit of a pain, but its short term.
recurrance-- i do not know how many people get a recurrance after a mx. But it is possible, the cancer can grow on the bit of flesh they leave behind on the chest wall. Your team would be able to tell you the likelyhood of that.
Cosmetics-- if they reconstruct the boob do they make it sag like the other one?? . Even with just my wle one breast is now slightly perter than the other-- not that i stand still in front of the mirror very long to notice it. If they do both boobs that could be good. When i first found my lump and my mind went through all the options then my husband had a little twinkle in his eye at the thought of getting a bit of youthful shape back (its ok i was not upset, we have had a few laughs throught all this)
Its such a personal decision. If it were me i would ask the surgeon---what would you do if it was your wife/mother/sister
I had breast conserving surgery (WLE) and a reconstruction as they removed about 2/3 of my breast, followed by chemo and radiotherapy. I was also offered a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. I asked my surgeon about recurrence, and was told that WLE with radiotherapy had the same odds of recurrence as mastectomy, as the radiotherapy is a very effective treatment.
There is lots to consider and everyone is different, there is quite a long recovery with the mastectomy and reconstruction, but then you don't have the daily trek to the hospital for the radiotherapy.
So often the only options offered are either lumpectomy or mastectomy, but there is a third option which is to have a lumpectomy combined with a breast reduction and lift (basically a "boob job"), which may be more suitable if the tumour is a bit bigger than some.
My breast consultant told me that because of the size of my tumour, if I just had a lumpectomy I would be left with a quite misshapen breast so she recommended the combined type surgery. I'm delighted with the result and so pleased that I was offered this alternative, although I had to have surgery on my non-BC breast to even me up later. I've now got a rather nice pair of pert boobs for my age!
It's worth asking if this might be a possibility for you. Unfortunately many places don't offer this option since it requires either one surgeon who is qualified to do both the cancer removal and the cosmetic type repair surgery, or two surgeons available at the same time to do each part of the surgery. And in classic NHS style, if your hospital can't offer you a particular procedure, they won't even tell you it's possible at other hospitals.
Feel free to PM me if you want to ask for any more info.
Hi Rosanne, i had exactly the same decision to make a few weeks ago. I was diagnosed on 22nd June this year & was offered either lumpectomy with rads or mastectomy. I said the same as u that i didn't think i would go for MX without immediate reconstruction. I tossed between the 2 options for a week then had appt to see my consultant, she said she wouldn't have suggested lumpectomy if she didn't think it wasn't right for me so in the end i went for that. I had the lumpectomy & node sampling in July & it went well. when i got my results they said they didn't quite get clear margins so i had to have another op which worked second time. I would have had to have the 2nd op anyway as they found cancerous cells in 2 of the nodes they took so i had to have completion axillary clearance. It is really hard decision to make,u want them to make it for u, ur knee jerk reaction is to have a MX to get rid of it all but i think u can get recurrences even then. It's a bigger op if u have recon as well with a longer recovery period.Im very happy with how my boob looks now, in fact it doesn't really look much different.
I think maybe u should have another chat with ur conultant before u decide, go through the pros & cons as obviously u have rads with the lumpectomy which u probably wouldn't with MX. Im happy with my decision but it really is a personal choice, what's right for one person isn't right for another. Hope u manage to decide what's best for u soon or it'll drive u mad, let us know how u get on,good luck. x
just diagnosed but struggling to make a decision. have been offered lumpectomy followed by radio therapy or mastectomy with reconstruction. have ruled out mastectomy without reconstruction, although i am 66 my appearance matters to me. there is also the consideration that a mastectomy means no more cancerous lumps in that breast, feel that the lumpectomy is the easier option but unable to decide. seeing breast cancer nurse again on friday.