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Elective mastectomy

carolh's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2000

Since having a modified radical mastectomy of my left breast in September 1999 I have had a couple of 'scares' relating to my right breast; first, cysts, then "calcifications". I was planning to have reconstructive surgery (TRAM flap) early next year and am now considering having my right breast removed as well.
I have always been prone to cysts but since having breast cancer, they cause tremendous worry until they can be properly diagnosed. My surgeon (male) was not supportive when I suggested an elective mastectomy, although my oncologist (female) said she might feel the same in my place. Is there anyone out there who has
gone this route and can offer any advice/comments?

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Carolh,Tiger here, I had a mastectomy of the left breast Jan 00, and now I am having lots of pain in my right breast,and tenderness, I will eventually be having the diep flap recon as I have lots of baby belly left over to use, I told my onco that I want to get rid of the right breast and when I go for surgery have both recon at the same time, he really did not have an opinion on it at the time, he said to discusss with my family phys and surgeon that did mastectomy, but the way I see it is It is MY body and doing the cancer thing with the other breast five years down the road just is not appealing, and chances are it Will come back,with or without tamoxifen.I know of lots of women who had a double mast just as a precaution, when the cancer was only in one breast,If i had of had the foresight I would have done the same thing from the word go. If your Dr.refuses or says you have nothng to worry about, well start looking for a new Dr, one who actually understands your fears and concerns.It is your life and your body, do what your heart tells you to do. Take care. xoxox

carolh's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Jul 2000

Thanks, Tiger. I'm certainly leaning towards having my other breast removed, regardless
of what my surgeon says (yes, I agree, it's MY body, thank you). On the bright side,
at least I can get two new, bigger boobs rather than trying to match my existing small
one! I'm a bit nervous about the TRAM-flap op - spending weeks trying to stand up
straight and permanent (?) numbness, although I have plenty of extra tummy to spare
for such a procedure. I'll look for posts from anyone who has had this done and whether
they think it's worth it. Cheers. Carol.

Posts: 137
Joined: Aug 2000

Hello Carol. I had the same decision to make. My right nipple started itching and crusting over just like the left one did with Paget's disease. It was nothing, just a contact dermatitis, but enought to finally convince me to have an elective mastectomy. My surgeon and my oncologist were both behind me 100% on that matter. I had the elective mastectomy at the same time I had TRAM reconstruction. If I had it to do over, the only change I would have made was when I had the original mastectomy I would have had the elective then too. Tuesday I had surgery for the nipple areolar reconstruction and revision of the TRAM. Only got one nipple as the right breast had to be revised quite a bit and now it has to "fall into place". So in another 2-3 months I should be getting the other nipple and then it is all over. This was an excellent decision. Jane

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