prior to surgery I had G cup breasts. I had a lumpectomy with therapeutic mammoplasty on the cancer side followed by radiotherapy. I was told that I would have to wait 12 months until they would reduce the other boob this would allow for any shrinkage prior to the op.
I now have DD cup boobies, although I’d say the radiated side is still a bit smaller than the other and firmer too. They’re sisters not twins! 😊
I was told they "might" shrink and my plastic surgeon told me to wait at least 6 months after the last radiation. Its now been 5 months and I see a noticebly difference. I will have the surgery to adjust both breasts to like alike in shape, size and firmness. Really looking forward to this but I am also nervous.
I am choosing to remove the other nipple and having reconstruction surgery to make them match as the radiated breast did shrink. I had too wait 6 months after the last radiation treatment so that is July of this year. I chose Dr. Maria Lima based on a recommendation from the oncology department.
I had 20 radiation sessions on the right breast. They wanted me to wait 6 months from my last treatment before reconstruction. That would be in July. I am seeing a difference so they did shrink the breast tissue. I definitely want to do the surgery to be balanced. They told me they would make them "sisters" but twins is pretty tough to do.
I had a DCIS about 18 years ago, resulting in Lumpectomy and either 25 or possibly 30 RT sessions (can't quite remember now). Around the 1 year Mark I could see the difference in my Breast sizes, necessitating in me buying a padded Bra so that the differential would go unnoticed. I was diagnosed last December with Invasive BC in my other Breast and Lymphnodes, my BC Consultant was also a Plastic Surgeon, and after much discussion with me, he removed two Tumours using a Reduction technique but also factored in the shrinkage that would occur following my 15 RT Treatments. He also moved my Nipple to be more in line with my other Nipple, so I'm hoping once RT has been completed and shrinkage has settled, I will have two perky breasts! Win Win situation.
So I finished the radiation about 2 weeks ago (Jan 2022). I am not sure when the shrinkage will occur. The right one is extremely red as they have continued to cook even after it was completed. The nipple was removed so it's already different looking and I had implants put in to balance them in 2019. I am vain enough to consider removing the other nipple and ensuring they match again. My husband is supportive. I hope there are others going through this and will comment on their experiences. 🙂
I don't regard it as vain. All my friends are shocked at how this has affected me mentally, emotionally. I am the pragmatic, cold emotionless person normally but, when diagnosed albeit delayed due to NHS ineptness I have become the protective one concerning what I now have to look at in the mirror. I hate it (the treated one ) it looks like an arse. I will never undress in front of a man again and feel I would not ever want a relationship again. When your journey was completed it post rads and surgery or post-chemo, rads surgery did the symmetry also include removal of the nipple to match the treated one? Was a tattoo one on both? Right now I hate how I look and feel.
Have to agree most male consultants do not regard breasts as the feminine asset we do. They cannot get it in their heads that it can be a defining feature of womanhood for many women. I changed hospitals due to the way I felt I was being mis-managed by the breast surgeon (male-led) that I had.
I am a fellow DCIS sufferer too for which I had a mastectomy and reconstruction at the end of last year - no radiotherapy. Last Thursday, I had my first fat grafting session in order to correct my asymmetry which like yours, is about a cup size different. My surgery was done as a day case and whilst I was waiting, I started chatting to a lovely lady who was going to surgery after me. She had had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy 12 years ago. Just like you, she had become lopsided over the years which had distressed her enough to go to her GP to see if something could now be done about it. She had been referred on the NHS to see my consultant who was going to do a lift on her good side. Have you tried your GP to ask for a referral? I know the NHS doesn’t always act as one and different rules seem to apply between areas at times but it might be worth a try.
Sending you some virtual hugs. I do have an appreciation of what it is like and moreover, it’s a constant reminder of what we have been through.
I was diagnosed with DCIS (stage 0) in 2006. According to the pathology report, the tumour was barely millimetres in size. NO ONE told me there would be breast shrinkage after radiation. I had perfectly symmetrical breasts before radiation. The untreated breast is now D-cup due to age and weight gain while the treated breast is barely a C-cup. Why was I not informed beforehand? I NOW cannot get a bra to fit. I am very sorry I had radiation. I guess to male doctors this is not a big enough side effect to mention.
Thank you, that helps a lot, got my apt to book in surgery in 10 days time, hope they have some slots soon for the surgery xx
Hi tibetone and all,
I am one year post initial surgery , 6 months post rads, and 1 month post symmetrisation surgery. Am on anastrazole, of which i had read weight gain can be an issue. 12 weeks of slimming world later i declared my ideal weight with my bmi around 24 as my treated breast was starting to have some lumpiness become more prominent.
My surgeon offered me bilateral reduction style breast surgery for the initial operation, or the delayed matching as the side needing treatment may need further surgery or change shape due to radiotherapy.
I did need SNB after first op, but no further remodelling of treated breast.
Delighted now to have been matched, found the year of odd less troubling as it progressed but was acutely aware at first.
Have found M&S do some post op bras... ordered and paid for mine online, collected from local store, where i promptly tried them on. Very soft over my upside down T shaped scars, and have pockets for protheses. After a year of sports bras loving the softness and more feminine look.
Good luck with your decisions ... hope the above helps.
Loving the Tate Modern Fuffs x x
One happy LL x x
Sorry we're all going through this.
I've a few questions and wondered if anyone can help?
I've high grade DCIS and was due to have bilateral MX last week and tissue expanders but after nightmare with surgeon, I cancelled the operation, very long story.
New consultant suggests therapeutic double mammoplasty which will reduce the area plus radiootherapy.
Is it best to wait till after radiotherapy to reduce the unaffected side? Or have them both done and see what happens?
Also can they operate again on the radiotherapied boob to even things up if necessary?
Sorry mind in a whirl, just got used to double mx idea xx
Just had a bit of a lightbulb moment as I surveyed the state of my lopsided boobs so thought I'd share. I remember reading that irradiated boobs don't change shape/size with age or weight gain in the same way that normal ones do, which means that the irradiated one will always look pretty much the size/shape it was post-surgery. So....my lightbulb moment today was the realisation that the reason I look lopsided is nothing to do with radiation shrinkage, but that I'm a stone heavier than I was post-surgery (dang that pesky cake with its siren call!) so my good boob has got fat Right, back to the diet it is then...and I hope I don't get any radiation shrinkage or I'm going to have to go on starvation rations to keep my boobs symmetrical!
I thought I should just add a little update to this in case anyone else has the same question. Having done a bit of research it seems that about 30% of us will get some shrinkage as a result of radiation but only 10% of us will get it to a significant degree and it tends to be those of us with larger breasts who are most affected (not surprising really I suppose)
Please do stop by to say hello now and again Beryl, we'll miss you and be keen to hear how you are getting on. Hopefully your healing will be straightforward from now on and you'll be our source of wisdom on how to get your life back together after the dreaded 'C' 🙂
I have just come on here to wish all the buddies I have 'met' from the November/December diagnosed threads all the best as you continue your journeys.
I do not need to join you but will be sending positive thoughts and hugs to you all.
Perhaps we will meet up on the Living with BC thread
All the best
Thanks Lexilou, much as I hate the thought of more surgery, if I do end up very lopsided I think I will have the other one reduced to match but I guess I'll just have to wait and see how I end up. Good luck with your surgery, hope it works out well and let us know how you get on.
I was told there's be shrinkage following rads, and after my 2 clearance ops I'm decidedly lopsided already. I was told I could have symmetry surgery in a year, but whether this would involve reducing one or increasing the other, I don't know.However, at this stage I'm not bothered about symmetry, and the thought of more surgery disturbing healthy tissue is a no go. Plus I'm sure my surgeon's time and expertise is far better used in saving lives than making me feel better about myself. I might change my mind later, who knows?
So sorry to hear you have Sarcoma now Jill - I feel for you.
This is exactly the reason I am unsure about radiotherapy, which is the next step in my treatment. I am not worried about short term side effects, but the long term serious ones are not always mentioned, or we are told there is a very small chance - but when that is you.......
Can totally underxtand you are angry
Take care Sue
Thanks ladies, I think I'll stop worrying about it for now and see how it looks when I get to the end of radiotherapy in April. I imagine they would operate on the 'good' boob if I needed/wanted it but I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens (sooooooo not loving this being out of control of my own body!)
I'm an E cup (on a good day) and have found that my treated breast is a slightly different shape to the other one (not really noticeable under clothes) but am not aware of any change in overall size.
Thanks Lavendersblue, that's exactly what I'm worried about and I doubt I'll be able to cope with it nearly well as you. Were you ever offered the opportunity of having the non-treated boob reduced to match?
Hi ladies, of all the stupid things to worry about, the one that is causing me a bit of concern at the moment is being told that radiotherapy might shrink my boob (yep, I'm THAT vain!) I'm a G cup so it's not as if I can't afford some shrinkage I suppose, but now that I'm almost 4 weeks post surgery and the swelling is going down, I can see that the treated boob is already noticeably smaller than the other one so am worrying about being totally lopsided once the rads are underway/done.
Did any of you get shrinkage and if you did, was it much?