Jun 13, 2003 - 11:46 am
I'm writing on behalf of my 93 year old mother who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. She is an independent, active 93 year old who lives on her own. Her surgeon has suggested a lumpectomy for a 2.5 cm malignant tumor to be done under local anethesia and hopefully he will get some decent margins with this surgery. He said she will probably have to have some radiation follow-up. He does not want to do general anethesia because of her age. The surgeon states that once the surgery starts, if the chest wall etc, is affected, or if the maligancy has spread, he may need to do some type of modified mastectomy and would be forced to switch to a general anethesia. He stated that if she had a modified mastectomy she may not need radiation. He also said that he would not recommend chemo for a woman her age. I've received mixed messages from a lot of people on this--from don't do anything to a full mastectomy. I'm unable to get her into a major cancer center until after her surgery is scheduled and she does not want to delay the surgery. ANy suggestions? Has any one been through this with an elderly mother/spouse? what can we expect? Thanks!