Aug 22, 2012 - 1:54 am
Hi. I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal breast cancer at the end of June. I had a lumpectomy about 4 weeks ago. My tumor was only .7 cm and the nodes that were removed were clean. I am Estrogen and Prog. positive, and HER-2 negative. BRCA test was negative. Oncotype was a 14. My onco said that I will not need chemo, but wants me to start radiation right away. As I am getting ready to start the radiation in the next week or two, I am having a lot of anxiety about whether this is the right path to take. I know the chance for local recurrence is the same with lumpectomy and radiation as it is with a double mastectomy, but I am still having second thought on whether or not to have both breasts removed. As it stands right now, as the swelling is starting to go down from my surgery, my left breast is looking totally different than my right.
I am 44 and have a lot of positives about the cancer being caught early, being small, not in the nodes, etc.
One of the reasons I am scared of radiation is this: I have a friend who was diagnosed with the same cancer when she was 44. She had a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. After 6 years, her cancer just came back this last February. She has now had a double mastectomy and reconstruction. It has been quite a process. What made her reconstruction so difficult was the fact that she had radiation in her left breast, so the process to reconstruct that breast was entirely different and more difficult than the other. Her breast are completely different in size and shape and that is because of the radiation treatment she received six years ago.
I know this may not be the norm, but I can't help but wonder if I would be better off just getting both breasts removed now and be able to have an equal reconstruction done, than having to possibly go through such a procedure when I am older and have had the radiation.
I feel like I am running out of time to make this decision because I only have about a 2 week window until I have to start radiation.
I am trying very hard to have faith and trust in my doctors, and at some point I am going to have to be comfortable with whatever decision is made, but it is so hard to know what is the right thing to do.
Thank you for listening.