Need some advice.

rmap59 Member Posts: 266
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi all,
This is my first time on the breast cancer forum, I participate on the colon cancer forum because thats what I have had to deal with. My mom was dx with breast cancer today. They are giving her the option of lumpectomy, rads/chemo or mastectomy. She is 77 years old and leaning toward the mastectomy but my fear is her age and the recovery. Can someone who has had a mastectomy tell me about the recovery, how long, how painful, what pain meds helped, etc.
Thanks for replies, Robin


  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    Hey Robin, nice to see you!

    My mom, at 78, had a single mastectomy after a diagnosis of breast cancer. She just didn't want the hassles, and her breasts were small anyway. She has done VERY well...she is now almost 85. She did not do reconstruction. She was stage 1, so she only had radiation, no chemo....

    Please feel free to e-mail me here with any questions I can ask my mom from your mom!

    Hugs, Kathi

    PS, mom is a 2-fer survivor like me...had endometrial cancer, total hyster, when she was 73....she is NED on both....
  • There are two types of mastectomies....simple and radical. The simple procedure removes only the breast tissue. Recovery is relatively easy and pain is well managed with simple meds.
    A radical mastectomy involves the removal of breast tissue, muscle tissue, and usually some lymph nodes from under the arm. Recovery involves a drain tube for a few days, physical therapy to recover full range of motion in shoulder and arm, and most women report pain in recovering nerves for some weeks.
    If your mother is otherwise healthy she should withstand either procedure quite well. She will need to plan for a simple lifestyle and help with daily activities for a few weeks.
    **** luck to her and God bless.
  • When I faced my mastectomy (I am 49) I called my mom, to ask her about it as she had one herself at age 65. No big deal, she told me. And it was no big deal for me. My mom spent the night in the hospital but wished she had gone straight home. She dealt with everything just fine. We are both small breasted, only one drain. I ran around town wearing a full blouse so I could hide the fact that I had a drain pinned underneath. As did my mom. The doc gave me pain meds which I may have taken once. My mom never took hers. Not to say that it can't be tough - just to say that it may not be. My best wishes to you and your mom from me and mine,
  • survivor51
    survivor51 Member Posts: 276
    Welcome Robin,
    I'm sorry to hear about your mom at 77 but this is doable. I had a bilateral mastectomy and it went very easy. Do find out information from the doctor as to size of tumor, grade, etc. That will help determining whether a mastectomy or a lumpectomy. Definitely call 1800-227-2345 this is the ACS 24 hour number. They can guide you with what questions you need to ask and they are wonderful. Angela
  • jackiemanz
    jackiemanz Member Posts: 85
    Hey Robin,

    I myself had a bilateral age the age of 40 and there was very little pain involved. Now my Aunt had a bilateral at the age of 78 and had to do chemo afterwards and she did fine. When she was diagnosed she was fine with it she said she did need them anymore at her age. She didn't get sick at all but did loose her hair. She was hoping it would come back curly like my grandfathers hair but that didn't happen. Now she is 89 and still on the go. This woman has 9 lives.