Mastectomy/Lumpectomy

bizywizy
bizywizy Member Posts: 11
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi everyone I am 44 years old was just diagnosed with breast cancer. My emotions are up and down. Sometimes I feel like I am in a Whirlwind.

I am scheduled to have a lumpectomy June 16th, but now I beginning to feel like I may have made a hasty decision. I just want it out as quickly as possible. My tumor is approximately 1.5 cm and my nurse reassures me that the removal of the cancer via lumpectomy plus treatment will be a success. But I fear recurrence. Does anyone know if recurrence is less if Mastectomy is chosen? My doctor and nurse say that the survival rates for both are the same, but what about recurrence?

This is so confusing to me. I am frustrated with my indecision and fears. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • Ronee33
    Ronee33 Member Posts: 25
    This is going to be a very trying time that will require every ounce of your patience. However, there are other factors to consider when talking about recurrence. Until you've gotten the biopsy results from the lumpectomy, neither you nor your doctor really know what you are dealing with. The doctor will probably take out at least your sentinel node, if not more, to see if you have lymph involvement. From personal experience, I had a 1.1cm tumor and my doctor felt that a lumpectomy was the way to go. It wasn't until after the 2nd lumpectomy that it was determined that I had invasive cancer. I did end up having a mastectomy because it had spread and they could not just remove the cancer with a lumpectomy. I know it's hard to wait, but have your lumpectomy and let that determine the next step. A lumpectomy is not major surgery so its a easy step to figure out how advanced the cancer is. I know you want all the answers, but you'll only get them in steps.
  • bizywizy
    bizywizy Member Posts: 11
    Ronee33 said:

    This is going to be a very trying time that will require every ounce of your patience. However, there are other factors to consider when talking about recurrence. Until you've gotten the biopsy results from the lumpectomy, neither you nor your doctor really know what you are dealing with. The doctor will probably take out at least your sentinel node, if not more, to see if you have lymph involvement. From personal experience, I had a 1.1cm tumor and my doctor felt that a lumpectomy was the way to go. It wasn't until after the 2nd lumpectomy that it was determined that I had invasive cancer. I did end up having a mastectomy because it had spread and they could not just remove the cancer with a lumpectomy. I know it's hard to wait, but have your lumpectomy and let that determine the next step. A lumpectomy is not major surgery so its a easy step to figure out how advanced the cancer is. I know you want all the answers, but you'll only get them in steps.

    Thank you and God bless! This is what my nurse was trying to explain to me. It's always good to hear from some that has been there and done that.

    God Bless!
  • BuffaloGal49
    BuffaloGal49 Member Posts: 13
    bizywizy said:

    Thank you and God bless! This is what my nurse was trying to explain to me. It's always good to hear from some that has been there and done that.

    God Bless!

    I would echo Renee's advice. I had a lumpectomy (lump was benign connective tissue, but hiding a 4 mm spot of invasive cancer, way too tiny to spot on a mammo). Next was reexcision to determine clean margins and sample the sentinel lymph nodes (3). All turned out well. As both procedures were day procedures, I didn't miss too much work. Got a good path report, so just did radiation. Four years later, still clear, and finally letting go of fear of recurrence. That risk assessment is a very individual thing. It is so hard to process a ton of info and make decisions that seem urgent. Keep asking questions! Know that you have a huge network of support pulling for you! -- Kathleen
  • JKAlley
    JKAlley Member Posts: 84
    bizywizy said:

    Thank you and God bless! This is what my nurse was trying to explain to me. It's always good to hear from some that has been there and done that.

    God Bless!

    It's my understanding that survival rates and reoccurance rates are the same with lump and mast. My feeling was if it's going to come back, here come back here in these boobs I still have, instead of somewhere else. Breast cancer in your breast won't kill you. But seriously, Ronee was right, you don't really know a lot until you get that pathology report. What I told my dr is that if I didn't have to have a mastectomy, then that's what I want. But if it came down to it, my life is more important than my breast, so take it off if we have to. I went for the most aggressive treatment I could get, but I'm glad I went with the lumpectomy. And mastectomy or not, we will always worry about it coming back. Good luck, and I feel so much for you, this is such a scary time. Be strong, try and keep a good attitude,and know that you can come through this and be stronger on the other side. Remember, the ladies here will always be here for you.
  • lindatn
    lindatn Member Posts: 229
    So sorry you are going to be going through this difficult time. We are all here for you. I chose a lumpectomy after three weeks of thinking about it. Generally no real rush. If you really hate the thought of radiation sometimes with a mastectomy radiation is not necessary. Much depends on the path report. On the other hand keeping the breast is important to a lot of us and we are glad that the recurrence is not much different then with mastectomy. It is possible later on you may need a mastectomy but with radiation not likely. You do need mammograms every six months in that breast for several years least at where I go. I am three years since dx and still having mammograms every six months. You will fear recurrence no matter what you do but we must learn to live with that and of course go on. Sometimes believe it or not the roses are even brighter then before bc. God Bless Linda
  • dznyfn1
    dznyfn1 Member Posts: 1
    HI,
    I had 2 lumpectomies and then a mastectomy in January. What I was told by numerous doctors was that if you have a lumpectomy and then the followup radiation therapy the survival rates are basically the same as having a mastectomy but you do have to do the radiation.

    I could not get clean margins and that is why I eventually had to do the mastectomy. I also had immediate reconstruction.

    Best of luck.
  • tlmac
    tlmac Member Posts: 272 Member
    Hi bizywizy, I've never read that recurrence rates are lower but a study published back in March reported a staggering 95% reduction of breast cancer in high risk women who chose prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. That told me there had to be a measure of protection in losing the breasts. I chose bilateral over lumpectomies on both breasts in February 2003. Survival statistics didn't play as much a part of my decision as avoiding a recurrence. I realize there is no guarantee it won't recurr along the scar or in a microscopic amount of breast tissue left behind. I have no choice but to accept that level of risk. My surgeon asks me every time I go for a checkup if I regret my decision. I didn't 2 years ago and I don't today. Back then, I made a list of all the things I needed to be able to do on a daily basis and all the things I still wanted to do before I died and none of them was reliant on having breasts so the decision was an easy one for me. Input from women who have faced the same decision allows you to consider your choice from a variety of perspectives but, in the end, you'll need to make the choice you are most comfortable living with. The loss of my breasts has given me increased peace of mind. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery.
    terri
  • bizywizy
    bizywizy Member Posts: 11
    tlmac said:

    Hi bizywizy, I've never read that recurrence rates are lower but a study published back in March reported a staggering 95% reduction of breast cancer in high risk women who chose prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. That told me there had to be a measure of protection in losing the breasts. I chose bilateral over lumpectomies on both breasts in February 2003. Survival statistics didn't play as much a part of my decision as avoiding a recurrence. I realize there is no guarantee it won't recurr along the scar or in a microscopic amount of breast tissue left behind. I have no choice but to accept that level of risk. My surgeon asks me every time I go for a checkup if I regret my decision. I didn't 2 years ago and I don't today. Back then, I made a list of all the things I needed to be able to do on a daily basis and all the things I still wanted to do before I died and none of them was reliant on having breasts so the decision was an easy one for me. Input from women who have faced the same decision allows you to consider your choice from a variety of perspectives but, in the end, you'll need to make the choice you are most comfortable living with. The loss of my breasts has given me increased peace of mind. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery.
    terri

    Thank you all ladies. You are so encouraging. I am frighten about it all, but I know my God will be with me through it all. I am at peace with my decision. My life in God's hands. He knows what day I was born, and He knows the day I will depart this earth, so why should I worry? But I know that my fears are normal and that with time and healing these fears will be put to rest. I must live on.

    May God bless each and everyone of you, and I will keep you all posted.

    God Bless!

    Madeline
  • 24242
    24242 Member Posts: 1,398
    I didn't take long to decide I wanted rid of both breasts since mine had spread. I had had a lump checked just 6 months prior to diagnosis and he wouldn't even do a mamogram because too young, a laugh for sure. Then another grew in armpit in less than a week, no one had to tell me what I had.
    I too needed peace of mind, but did listen to doctors and mother and only had one breast removed, the one with the lump of coarse. Through the next year I had several lumps removed and they were all benign but did have the second one removed because I had truly wanted it gone from the start. We all must choose what it is that we are going to be able to live and cope with the rest of our lives. I haven't had reconstruction due to hell I went through having my mastectomies. Surgery came with its own set of side affects that we never really think about. So the less I have the better is all for me. Anyways I would be afraid that now I would want to go BIG or go home.
    You'll be on our minds and close to our hearts. Hang in there it does get alittle easier each and everyday.
    Be good to yourself always,
    Tara
  • AuthorUnknown
    AuthorUnknown Member Posts: 1,537 Member
    8 years ago, I had a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiation, and I was just diagnosed with a recurrence in the same breast. I was told that once tissue has had radiation, it doesn't heal well if you have surgery and so another lumpectomy wasn't an option (my oncologist, my surgeon, and the plastic surgeon who will do the reconstruction all said the same thing). So, knowing that one had to go and NEVER wanting to go through this again, I decided my best otion was a double mastectomy, which I had on 5/23. I'm just glad they're gone. We each have to make the decision, and I am glad you are comfortable with yours - it is NOT common to get a recurrence after a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation, but like another email said, you don't really get all the answers until the final pathology report. It takes time to trust your body again, and from now on whenever you complain about an ache or pain, you'll be going to get one kind of scan or another - which will show up a bunch of "normal anomalies" that you never would have known you had!!! It scares you, but keep that in mind, the tests usually end up being something other than cancer. Keep your sense of humor, not only will you need it, but laughter really IS good medicine.I will be saying prayers for you on Monday, you will be surprised how fast you recover from the lumpectomy, I'm sure you will be fine and that you will do well.
  • bizywizy
    bizywizy Member Posts: 11

    8 years ago, I had a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiation, and I was just diagnosed with a recurrence in the same breast. I was told that once tissue has had radiation, it doesn't heal well if you have surgery and so another lumpectomy wasn't an option (my oncologist, my surgeon, and the plastic surgeon who will do the reconstruction all said the same thing). So, knowing that one had to go and NEVER wanting to go through this again, I decided my best otion was a double mastectomy, which I had on 5/23. I'm just glad they're gone. We each have to make the decision, and I am glad you are comfortable with yours - it is NOT common to get a recurrence after a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation, but like another email said, you don't really get all the answers until the final pathology report. It takes time to trust your body again, and from now on whenever you complain about an ache or pain, you'll be going to get one kind of scan or another - which will show up a bunch of "normal anomalies" that you never would have known you had!!! It scares you, but keep that in mind, the tests usually end up being something other than cancer. Keep your sense of humor, not only will you need it, but laughter really IS good medicine.I will be saying prayers for you on Monday, you will be surprised how fast you recover from the lumpectomy, I'm sure you will be fine and that you will do well.

    Thanks so much Diane.

    God bless Madeline