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Lumpectomy Verses Masectomy

Jamihuie
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

I am 33 and have breast cancer. I just finished all the chemo (Yea). But now surgeon wants me to decide between lumpectomy or masectomy. What a decision! Are there any of you out there that is close to my age and had to make that decision. Let me know your thoughts and why you chose the route you did.
Thanks Jami

skipper54's picture
skipper54
Posts: 936
Joined: Feb 2011

I'm older than you, 56 when diagnosed last summer, but I had the same decision to make. Mu tumor shrank enough with the chemo that the surgeon offered lumpectomy instead of mastectomy. I opted for teh full mastectomy rather than take the chance something would be missed and I'd be back again. Give it lots of thought and decide what's best for you. I'm having reconstruction in the fall after my skin has fully healed from radiation. I don't regret my decision as there were 3 positive nodes when the mastectomy was done. Have you had a PET scan? If so, what did it show? That's also an important factor.

Jamihuie
Posts: 4
Joined: Nov 2010

I havent had any scans done since the chemo, but she wants me to meet with a plastic surgeon so i get the full realm of things before i make a decision. But i did tell my husband that i thought i wanted scans because what if they dont need to take as much as they think. Was the double M painful?

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

A lumpectomy was what my surgeon and oncologist recommended for me. And, I had rads afterwords also. I am so happy that I could have the lumpectomy and keep my breasts. That was very important to me.

One thing to remember is that even with a mastectomy, there is no way that all of your breast tissue is removed. So even with a mastectomy, you will have breast tissue left, so, a recurrence can still happen. I don't think some were told this or realize this.

You need to do what is recommended for you and what you want to do. The decision is yours and yours alone.

Wishing you good luck with whatever you decide.

Lex

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5259
Joined: Oct 2010

I did not have to make a decision..I was just told needed Lumpectomy and then radiation. I am sure very hard to decide...Sending good thoughts your way..

Denise

laughs_a_lot's picture
laughs_a_lot
Posts: 1368
Joined: Mar 2011

My surgeon told me that they have 20 year studies that indicate that the recurrence of breast cancer after having a lumpectomy versus a masectomy is very small. I don't remember if he said 1/2% 1% increase each year. I am 55 so if I got only a lumpectomy by the time I got old enough for the difference to equal recurrence of a return of breast cancer for those who had masectomy I might already have died anyway of other causes. So I opted for the lumpectomy. Here is the kicker for someone your age. If the percentage of reccurrence goes up each year (according to the small percentage that I cannot remember) how old will you be when the chances of a return of breast cancer after lumpectomy are equal to that of full masectomy. If that answer is 65 then you probably want to go a masectomy. Since I am unsure of the percentages I would have a serious talk with my surgeon to find out the answer to that equation before deciding.

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

I had a lumpectomy and was so happy that I could keep my breasts also. You can barely even see the incision now and I am not sure anyone would even know I had a lumpectomy.

A lumpectomy with rads is equal to a mastectomy in survival rate and recurrence rate.

Unfortunately, some women have no choice. They have to have a mastectomy.

Think about it, talk to anyone and everyone about the 2 procedures and do what is best for you, and, you alone.

Good luck,

Sue :)

laughs_a_lot's picture
laughs_a_lot
Posts: 1368
Joined: Mar 2011

My surgeon told me that they have 20 year studies that indicate that the recurrence of breast cancer after having a lumpectomy versus a masectomy is very small. I don't remember if he said 1/2% 1% increase each year. I am 55 so if I got only a lumpectomy by the time I got old enough for the difference to equal recurrence of a return of breast cancer for those who had masectomy I might already have died anyway of other causes. So I opted for the lumpectomy. Here is the kicker for someone your age. If the percentage of reccurrence goes up each year (according to the small percentage that I cannot remember) how old will you be when the chances of a return of breast cancer after lumpectomy are equal to that of full masectomy. If that answer is 65 then you probably want to go a masectomy. Since I am unsure of the percentages I would have a serious talk with my surgeon to find out the answer to that equation before deciding.

joannstar
Posts: 346
Joined: Nov 2010

said that the statistics show that mastectomy and lumpectomy with rads have the same survival rate. I opted for lumpectomy (had to have a 2nd one to get clear margins also). My nodes were negative, but when the results came back, they found instead of DCIS I actually had IDC Stage 1 and was triple negative. It was also recommended for me to do 6 rounds of chemo which I finished 1/7/11. I'll be done with rads on 4/1/11 and from then on, I'll just have quarterly checks and twice yearly mammos. I was 57 at the time of diagnosis, but that was not part of the equation from what I was told.
Good luck,
JoAnn

Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1218
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Jami :)
First off -that was SUPER good advice you got, to see a plastic surgeon before you make a srugical decision. I did the same thing & it really helped me to decide. I was 34 when I was diagnosed last June. I had stage 2 IDC in my right breast. I chose to have a double mastectomy, along with breast reconstruction immediately (not that I got my implants right away, but that when my breast surgeon removed my breasts, my plastic surgeon put in tissue expanders for reconstruction). I took a week to talk to a plastic surgeon, and read everything i could get my hands on, and really think about it. There were a few reasons I chose this surgery. The first reason was - I wouldn't have to worry about having a lumpectomy & not getting clean margins, and having to go back in for another, and I've talked with some women who have gone in more than once to get those clean margins & ended up having a mastectomy anyway. Secondly, I too was given the info that success rates for lumpectomy vs mastectomy were pretty much the same, but also am aware that breast cancer in younger tends to be more aggressive, and well, I wanted to be as aggressive as I could in fighting it. Someone put it to me this way when I came on these boards asking your exact same question - I'd rather feel like I've done too much in fighting this cancer, than feeling I didn't do enough. Also, cosmetically, having a bilateral mastectomy & then reconstruction on both breasts would give me the best looking results. Like I said, I'm in my 30's, married, my breasts are very important to both me and my husband ;) If I would have had single mastectomy, I would have had to first reconstruct that breast after surgery, wait for healing, then have a REDUCTION and lift on my other breast to try & get them to look the same. I was a 36 DD when i was diagnosed, and really had nice boobs, so the cosmetic aspect of it for me was a big part of it. I also have 2 young daughters, and I wanted to be damn sure that I did all I could to ensure I would be around to watch them grow up. Now almost 9 months after my double mastectomy, and almost 5 months after having my implants in -my boobs look AMAZING. I have a final step that im having done in a few weeks, getting new nipples made by my plastic surgeon. I have lots of advice regarding reconstruction, should you choose to go that route. I'm not in any way saying mastectomy is better than lumpectomy - just stating MY experience with it. Most of us on here are not in our 30's and premenopausal and our journeys have alot of different aspects to it that others may not have. Are you on facebook Jami? If so -PLEASE look me up & add me(Heather Kaylor Grontkowski) - I'd love to get to know you better & I also have alot of pics up through my bc journey, including alot of the reconstruction process. Also, regarding pain from the surgery - and im a big baby when it comes to pain, it was NOT as bad as i had imagined. I had c-sections for my babies & that was waaaay worse pain wise & recovery wise than the mastectomy. I had a 2 night stay in the hospital, and they even let my husband stay in my room with me. I wish you the best of luck in your decision, i know it's not one to be taken lightly.
*hugs hugs*
Heather

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

Is really good! Both of you being in your 30's with young children can really relate to one another...so many of us on this site are older with grown children...I understand there is a cancer site for young women with bc....
I wish you both the best!

Angel2
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2011

I was diagnosed with breast cancer with I was 40. Had a lumpectomy. Not enough clean margins so I had a right mastectomy only. I was very pleased with results. Great plastic surgeon. I was very pleased with the reconstruction. Amazing when they can do.But everybody is different on there situation. I had a saline implant. Best of luck to you on what you decide on.

helen e's picture
helen e
Posts: 222
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a lumpectomy and after surgery was told that my margins weren't clear and they would have to go back in. Then I got a phone call telling me that the surgeon took my case to the "tumor board" and they decided that I would need a mastectomy. The chance of reoccurrence without it was about 30-40%. I didn't really have much of a decision to make after that diagnosis.

Helen

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a lumpectomy and had clean margins. I also am ecstatic to have been able to keep my breasts. I also had rad treatments which equals a mastectomy. Someone else mentioned that a mastectomy and a lumpectomy with rads are equal in recurrence and survival rate, which is true. Unfortunately also, some women have no choice. I don't think I could have had a mastectomy, I really don't, so, I am grateful that a lumpectomy was what I had.

Good luck,

Angie

sparky51's picture
sparky51
Posts: 37
Joined: Dec 2010

Because I couldn't get a mammogram for 3 months, the dr saw something on the CT scan in April 2009 and didn't get me a mammogram till late July with the diagnosis @ the end of July, gave the cancer time to spread to my lymph nodes.....10 out of 15 nodes had cancer. I had no choice as to the proceedure because there were too many tumors to be able to save the breast.....

sal314
Posts: 633
Joined: Jul 2010

I was diagnosed 9 years ago at age 35. I originally had a lumpectomy as my surgeon and oncologist told me that there is no added benefit of a mastectomy over a lumpectomy with regards to statistics of the cancer returning. My surgeon recommended the lumpectomy and made the point that if you are on the fence and not sure about what you want to do and decide to do a mastectomy and aren't happy, there's no going back. If you have a lumpectomy and it turns out not looking good or you are still not comfortable with that decision (many women just feel better knowing the breast is gone and it eases their worry about it returning) you can always choose to go ahead and have a mastectomy.

In my case, my lumpectomy turned out to be much more extensive than my surgeon anticipated. He ended up taking half my breast and nipple. It looked awful and was very deformed. He was even horrified. I waited 5 years before I decided to have a mastectomy with a Lat Flap reconstruction and silicone implant. I couldn't be happier! Wish I didn't wait so long. I'm very happy with the results and feel so much better about myself.

I know it's a hard decision. You should ask your surgeon to show you pictures of before and after of each type of surgery. Talk to some women that have had each and go with your gut.

Good luck. You will know in your heart that you made the right choice when you feel calm and at peace about your decision...whatever that ends up being.

Blessings,
Sally

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