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should i get healthy breast removed?

robin138
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2002

hi, my name is robin. i had mast. left side on 2/7/02. i am on my 4th of 6 chemo treatments. when the chemo is over i will have my tissur exp. removed and replaced with an implant. i know a lot of women who get their healthy breast removed, i am concidering it. any comments would be helpful. thanks!

debw
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

Depends on type of cancer and what the doctor recommends. Ductal is not generally bilateral while lobular is. I had lobular and I'm considering having the other one off. I did not have reconstruction so it would be easier for me to be "flat chested". You had reconstruction so I would not get the other one off unless there was a compelling medical reason. The extra hassle of surgery would not be worth it. Flesh is never the same after the cut.

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I too had your delema after my treatments were complete. I don't know about you but I always had wanted both removed to improve my chances at survival. 5 years ago I was convinced I should worry about the infected breast since having a bilateral mastectomy would be so much harder on the body. I listened and agreed to have the cancerous one done first then if I still wanted I would have the other done at a later date. Surgeon thought it was being a little too agressive as well.
Well after the treatments were complete I found ceveral lumps that they wanted to leave and watch. I said now could they gaurantee that it wouldn't become cancerous and they couldn't so I said time to get rid of it after having 4 lumps removed. I just couldn't figure out why I kept going through this, finally almost one year to date of first mastectomy. I haven't had reconstruction and don't think that I will since I have so many problems with other things. I think the thing that I realized the most was I had to be comfortable and having more lumps distroyed my comfort level so I had to do something about it. Not everyone feels the same way and others just want any chances removed.
Hope you are coping well with the treatments and hope you are beginning to feel like there is a light at the end of your tunnel.
Be good to yourself,
Tara

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi, Robin, as the others point out, a lot depends on what kind of cancer you had in the first breast. But also, I am sure you know that removing the breast is not a guarantee of no cancer. You can get it in the scar, the chest wall, or anywhere that the breast tissue was not completely removed. It is virtually impossible to completely remove breast tissue, because it goes almost to the top of your shoulder and also down under your arm, etc. I am not saying don't have the other mastectomy, just be sure you know all the facts. Get Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book and read up on this subject. Good luck and God bless, Shirlann

ddancy
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2002

Hi Robin,
I'm 34 and was diagnosed november of 2000, I opted to have my healthy breast removed and I'm glad I did, still going through reconstruction because of the radiation but so far the expanding is going well, I'm hoping to have the implants put in soon..
Good Luck!!!! Debbie

jamac
Posts: 24
Joined: May 2002

Hi Robin. I had both breasts removed last fall - one diseased, the other with "pre-cancer" on post op path. Also had expander/implants placed at the time of surgery. I'm comfortable with having had my healthy breast removed even though it turned out to be not so healthy after all; it was the best option for me. I'd suggest you really get all the info about your disease first. I'm not sure I'd do the prophylactic surgery if my my other breast showed no sign of changes. The thing I miss most is not having normal sensation anywhere on my chest although having more peace of mind makes up for the added loss. Get as much info as you can and go with what you and your docs are comfortable doing. Hope this helps. Julie

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