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Radiation v. Mastectomy...

maestro099
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2001

The doctor told my mom that treating the BC with radiation or having a mastectomy had the same effect. He even gave odds that a mastectomy would cause cancer to be in remission 90% in that region, as opposed to radiation 80% of the time. Does anyone else hear this from their doctor? Personally, I think that radiation would kill more of the cancerous cells in the region than would a mastectomy, which can be hit or miss. Also, someone told me that surgeon/doctors are biased towards doing a mastectomy since that would get paid for the operation. I'm leaning towards radiation at this point.

pippi
Posts: 53
Joined: Aug 2000

I was given the option of a mastectomy or lumpectomy followed by radiation. I chose masectomy but that was my choice, I wanted it all over and done with as quickly as possible. I don't think you can have radiation and AC chemo at the same time. Also check out if the radiation can give you a higher chance of developing lymphadema.
Ask for a second opinion. Good luck and we are all thinking of you Love Pippi

leo1104362
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2001

I'm sorry to hear about your Mom. I had the same choice of having a mastectomy or lumpectomy. I choice lumpectomy, then I had radiation treatments. You can still work while having the treatments. I worked about 50 hours a week. I got lucky all the treatments did was make me very tired. I would come home and sleep for about 10 to 14 hours aday. Then they put me on Tamoxifen for 5 years. I will keep you and your Mom in my prayers.
love Linda

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

I had a lumpectomy initially with plans for radiation following. The pathology came back showing the lateral margin still had some cells. I was given the option of radiation or mastectomy and no radiation. I chose mastectomy cause I wanted to know all the cells were out. I am very happy with my decision. I had immed. reconstruction and moved on with my life. It's purely a decision your mom has to make and feel comfortable with. Good luck! Cathy

isaiah4031
Posts: 243
Joined: Jun 2001

Eddie,
I was diagnosed in April with stage 1 bc in the left breast. The margins were clear and the tumor was 1.5 cm. 23 lymph nodes were removed and were negative. I chose the lumpectomy with radiation, and I finish the last of 25 treatments tomorrow. Women choose lumpectomy or mastectomy for various reasons. Radiation kills the cells in the region, but also has some impact on the heart, (particularly the left side), chest wall and lung. Removeal of lymph nodes increases the chances of lymphedema, but with proper exercises, the chances can be decreased. The estrogen blockers can bring on early menopause, which brings with it those lovely hot flashes. I have only had two side effects: fatigue and sunburn to the irradiated area. I have continued my normal activities without problem...just sneak in my naps when needed. I had the choice of chemo due to the size of my tumor and I have opted for it. I will begin that in three weeks. Chemo is not a guarantee that all cancer cells are gone, but it increases the odds that they are. I don't know if a surgeon will opt for removal of the ovaries vs hormonal therapy. There may be too many other factors involved there. You need to take these questions and ask the doctors. Be assertive and firm, and get the answers from them also. The more knowledge you can accumulate, the better informed you will be to help your mom make the right decisions. There are many ladies on this site who are ready and able to offer help whenever you need it. Let us know how it goes. We're praying for you both.
Jayne

steph
Posts: 4
Joined: Jul 2001

Hi, that is a tough decision to make, probably one of the hardest ones. I only had a 0.5 cm tumor, but I had a strong family history of BC. When faced with that delemma myself, I read books about statitics, and then got two "second" opinions. I trusted my first doc completely, but wanted as much info as possible, and other's viewpoints. My personal feeling about the docs is that they are not biased because of the money. I think most of them truly want to do what's best for the patient. If you feel otherwise about her doc, then definitely get a second opinion. Once I processed all the info in my mind, I decided to make the decision based on what I felt in my heart was the right thing to do, with what I'd read. I have a strong faith in God, and felt He guided my decision once I asked him to. For each of us it is a personal decision & we're all different here. As far as the info, four years ago I ended up with the same as your doc, about mastectomy vs. radiation. I ended up choosing double mastectomies because of family history, but mainly because it was what I felt in my heart that God was leading me to do. In turned out that it really was the right choice for me. My mom chose one mastectomy when she was faced with a stage 1 BC & had the same choices. Neither of us have regretted it. For others the right choice is radiation & lumpectomy. Talk to your doc, or another doc, and find out all you can, and then look to your heart. I'll keep you and your mom in my prayers.
Stephanie in TX

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