Should I push for mastectomy?

Hi all, I'm new to this site. I had a lumpectomy in July this year. They discovered it was lobular and a 2nd op was needed to obtain clear margins. That was 3 weeks ago and they told me last Friday that no invasive cancer was found following the 2nd op, just 'in situ' pre cancerous cells as I understand it. The surgeon said he is not worried about it and does not recommend a mastectomy, just radiotherapy and hormone tablets for 10 years. I can't help feeling anxious that what is left behind could turn cancerous and possibly spread before being picked up as it was lobular and therefore a bit harder to spot. I see an oncologist next Monday.

14 Replies

  • Hello, I'm new to this site as well. I can't help or advise you, as I believe your ( trusted) oncologist will have all the answers to your questions. To be on those tablets for ten years seems a long time to me though, as they all have side effects. If your choice is ten years of tablets and a load of worry as apposed to having a mastectomy, I would personally choose the latter. Your oncologist will sort you out. Good luck. 🌺

  • Thank you for your thoughts, i will have a good chat with the oncologist and hopefully get some of my anxieties resolved. Although it's not a lifetime, 10 years is quite a while. Good luck to you too.

  • Hi I had a choice of lumpectomy radiotherapy and tablets or mastectomy and just tablets. My cancer was ER positive so the tablets are to reduce your estrogen, depending on your cancer type what tablets are for.

    I personally opted for mastectomy as I didn't want to worry about any hidden cancer in the breast, also radiotherapy has side effects including high risk of lymphodema skin tightness, I didn't want to take those risks.

    Ask the questions to the breast unit that look after you, I had an implant put in at the same time I had my mastectomy.

    Good luck

  • Hi, I didn't realise radiotherapy could cause lymphodema, thanks for pointing that out. Good luck to you too.

  • I believe 10 years is the norm now for post breast cancer treatment. I think if I had a choice I would probably opt for a mastectomy although as you have already had 2 operations you may not feel like having another one. DorrybI can't offer any more help but have no experience of this. Do have a chat with your breast care nurse x

  • Thanks for your thoughts Chrissie. Take care.

  • I opted for a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction in the 'healthy' breast after I was diagnosed with lobular and had a mastectomy on the right. It's a personal choice but I am glad I did it. Removed the worry.

  • It would definitely be a big decision, thank you for sharing your thoughts. Best wishes.

  • Dear people, mastectomy MAY reduce your risk of pre-cancerous in situ cells becoming cancerous but personally I would go with current treatment offer of radiotherapy and hormone tablets which are both being offered to prevent this happening. Breast removal can lead to other 'side effects', short term such as infection, seroma, and long term, such as lymphoedema, which I have.

  • Hi, at first I thought simple lumpectomy, radio, few tablets and all would be sorted, bit naive of me really. Thank you for your advice and good luck to you.

  • Hey lovesradio sorry to hear about the lymphodema. Hope you're getting the help you need. Sending supportive hugs xx

  • oh thanks so much Debster xx

  • Hi, I've been offered a lumpectomy and I've accepted it and will have it this Thursday but I'm now thinking I would prefer a mastectomy. I would also be interested in what other people think

  • Hi , I have just found out I have a second recurrence after a skin saving (nipple also) mastectomy in 2012. I was also taking Tamoxifen! I think it can return no matter what if we are consultant said I'm just unlucky....l think I'm lucky that my cancer has been found quickly each time (not quite so quick this time) and has been non aggressive and slow growing, these facts keep me sane. It is treatable thankfully. I am now scheduled for full mastectomy and remove the implant and nipple. I want to push them to remove my other breast too, so far they say no. Is it likely they will if I insist? All the best to you.

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