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Stage 1 cancer : lumpectomy or Mastectomy ? So confused, any opinions out there...need help, musy make up my mind soon!

Carla Victor-rawson Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Learning About Breast Cancer almost 6 years
 
  • Betsy Chapin Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2010
    This is such a personal decision and you will make the right one for yourself. I know when I was diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer, my first feelings were to have a mastectomy because I just wanted the cancer out! I never wanted to go through this again, but my doctor was a big help in making this decision with me. We had long talks about lumpectomy vs mastectomy. This was one of the hardest decisions of all in the whole cancer process, but I know I made the right one for myself. The reasons I chose lumpectomy had a lot to do with the studies done on women and their recurrence rate after lumpectomy vs mastectomy. With a lumpectomy, I knew radiation was also going to be part of my treatment. Now, 2 years later, I am very content with the choices I made. Hang in there Carla and take your time with this.
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Carla Victor-rawson Profile
      anónimo
      Aprendiendo sobre el cáncer de mama

      Thank you Betsy for getting back to me so soon . I wasn't sick a week ago... Now , this seems to be all encompassing :-( and I'm scared and I'm a total weenie to boot. While I wait for the BRECA to return I'll be getting an MRI and getting a 2 nd...

      más

      Thank you Betsy for getting back to me so soon . I wasn't sick a week ago... Now , this seems to be all encompassing :-( and I'm scared and I'm a total weenie to boot. While I wait for the BRECA to return I'll be getting an MRI and getting a 2 nd opinion .... Maybe besides a surgeon I should meet with a medical Oncologist as well. There is so much to do and there seems I need to do it fast ..., I may be a stage 1 but I don't want it to grow as I do my research . Plus I have ILC which only 10% with women who have Breast Cancer gets. I hope you are doing well, again, thank you, Carla

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Carla, I so relate to so much you are saying. Being diagnosed is everyone's worst nightmare. I have been reading your comments to others and I, too had a mother that died from breast cancer. She was 35 when first diagnosed and died at 50. So when...

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      Carla, I so relate to so much you are saying. Being diagnosed is everyone's worst nightmare. I have been reading your comments to others and I, too had a mother that died from breast cancer. She was 35 when first diagnosed and died at 50. So when I was diagnosed at 47, I felt my life was over. I thought breast cancer equaled death. I started to become educated about how breast cancer had changed since the 70's and read everything I could. Then with the help of doctors when all the choices were presented with my treatment, it became clear with what I had to do to save myself. Now I live with no fear of recurrence because I know I have done all I can do. The stage of diagnosis you are in now is the toughest because there is so much uncertainty. It feels so overwhelming in the beginning. I was a "weenie" once, too, but no more. Now I feel blessed and in charge of my health as I appreciate every day. Life is good again! My thoughts are with you and remember you are not alone.

      almost 6 years Flag
  • Marianne R. Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    I delt with 1 thing at a time. I had a partial mastectomy then I went through the treament. I then gave myself time to heal and get strong again. Next Thursday I am have a bi lateral mastectomy with recontruction. You don't have to make any decision right now except the one to save your life. It is your journey do what is right for you.
    almost 6 years Flag
    • jackie stiansen Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Marianne I know this is an old post but wondering what you particular bc was and what treatment was. I did everything you did and am hoping for the best. Thx

      over 2 years Flag
  • K G Profile
    anonimamente
    Sobrevivente desde 2011
    I agree with the ladies. Sometimes a second opinion helps. Don't rush into your decision, even though we all know the feeling of "get it out". I think alot of it depends on family history, what type your tumor is, the size of your tumor, etc. Do you have a nurse navigator helping you? The studies are showing the chances of cancer reoccuring are about the same whether or not you have a lumpectomy or mastectomy. You will make the right decision for you, and follow your gut instinct. We are all here for you.
    almost 6 years Comment Flag
  • Lysa Allison Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I struggled with the same decision. Then I realized I can always go back and have a mastectomy but I cannot go back and have a lumpectomy. Whatever you decide is the right decision.
    almost 6 years Comment Flag
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2007
    As you can see.... it is truly, an individual decision. It depends..... I really like the suggestion of a nurse navigator which is what I had. My best friend was a nurse who had run a breast diagnostic clinic but she was able to --be-a-nurse-- when it came to helping me make a decision. My choice of a lumpectomy or mastectomy was an easy one for me. Having small breasts, the lumpectomy would have taken most of my breast and the surgeon said it would not be very nice esthetically, if she didn't get clean margins, she would have do more surgery. A lumpectomy would also mean more treatment with radiation.... I have to take a ferry into Seattle daily for treatments and that would be a huge drag. I would still have to have chemo. no matter what I decided to do as far as surgery. So.... for me, it was a no-brainer... mastectomy..... done! I wear a prosthesis, because I didn't want to go through additional surgeries for a rebuild of a boob that was hardly there in the first place. I wanted to be done with it all and back to my hubby, house, & horses asap. Take your time, ask your questions, and get a second opinion if you are still on the fence. Please keep in touch with us, we have ALL been through the path you are beginning. Hang in there and take care, Sharon
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Carla Victor-rawson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank you for answering my question so soon. I think I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome watching my mom and other women go tr

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Carla Victor-rawson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Other women go through Breast Cancer....I saw them go through multiple surgeries with Lumpectomies:-( chemo & radiation multiply times. It was horrible from what I remember. Unlike your situation my breast are double D's but this could make a...

      more

      Other women go through Breast Cancer....I saw them go through multiple surgeries with Lumpectomies:-( chemo & radiation multiply times. It was horrible from what I remember. Unlike your situation my breast are double D's but this could make a noticeable difference if I get a masectomy but I also heard they can do reconstruction on the table... How painful was the masectomy ? I am so on the edge now:-( my husband thinks I should go with what the doctor says.... The surgeon is willing to do anything I want.I need to find a nurse navigator or some one to talk to, thanks, Carla

      almost 6 years Flag
  • Thumb avatar default
    anonymes
    Survivant depuis 2012
    Hi Carla, Lost my first answer in cyberspace. Apologize if you get two from me. It's a huge decision for women but you'll make the right one for you. Gather as much info (breast cancer.org) as possible, question your doctors and don't let fear drive your decision. It's wonderful you have the choice. An aggressive caner steals that from you. Based on the character and stage of my cancer(Stage2A, invasive ductal) I elected lumpectomy with 16 radiation treatments. That was me. My doctor told me if margins and/or nodes were positive he could go back in 4 or 5 days and do the mastectomy, but if he did the mastectomy and the margins and nodes were clear he couldn't put the breast back. Soooo many factors helped me make the decision and I'm still happy with it. Had my surgery April 4 of this year and almost back to normal. My doctors gave me all the info and the procedure that caused the least harm with maximum cure(equal to mastectomy) but it was my decision 100%. Either procedure will still require the additional decision as to whether you'll do reconstruction or not. Good luck and know you've got a bunch of women cheering you on. Jo
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Carla Victor-rawson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thanks for your comments Jo, you sound like your in a good place right now ..... I hope to be there one day too:-) I'm just pretty scared right now...,I'm coming from a place where I saw my mother die of breast cancer.... But, I'm also very angry...

      more

      Thanks for your comments Jo, you sound like your in a good place right now ..... I hope to be there one day too:-) I'm just pretty scared right now...,I'm coming from a place where I saw my mother die of breast cancer.... But, I'm also very angry with her as she didn't follow what her doctors needed her to do..,she found a lump and waited a year before she went back to the doctor, missed chemo appts. And refused a mastectomy ... This was back in the 1970's . So I'm petrified . The difference being I caught mine early and I'm doing something about it now. I took the BRECA and I'm waiting for this first.. A 2-3 week wait ( which makes me nervous.., the waiting) if it's positive I get a double mastectomy ... If not my husband & Doctor want me to have a lumpectomy & 6 weeks radiation...the doctor says I'm going to live a long and happy life after this.....IDK... What was the procedure you decided on , maximum cure without it being a mastectomy ?Not sure what you ment....Do tell!

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Won't presume I know the kind of fear your have--with reason--based on your experience with your mom. I can only offer you the real hope that you'll do what is best for you. Patience is lost on all of us that have had this wait. I knew about my...

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      Won't presume I know the kind of fear your have--with reason--based on your experience with your mom. I can only offer you the real hope that you'll do what is best for you. Patience is lost on all of us that have had this wait. I knew about my lump for a year and then it took two months from the first mammo until the surgergy, then i had to wait for tests before the final plan was in place. My stage 2a IDC was such that the lumpectomy got it all-clean margins and nodes . The DX test on the tumor showed- -#15 out of 100-and placed me in the low recurrence. My surgeon was prepared to do the mastectomy if i wanted it which would make radiation unnecessay. Either way chemo was still a possiblity. It took two weeks for the DX test on the tumor to come in. It determined whether there was a need for chemo. Thankfully it was unnecessary. The oncologist, surgeon and radiologist all assured me they shouldn't overtreat and do more harm. Chemo was more harmful for me-increased survival by 1%. Statistics show my survival rate practically the same as those who elected mastectomy. I elected lumpectomy-and there were several factors that brought the # of rad treatments to 16. I feel I chose the maximum that was necessary for me without overkill. That was for me. My doctors helped me but I had to make the final call. As you said, it's not the 70's. That was a harder and darker time for us. It sounds like you're getting all the info. Trust in yourself, your hubby and dr. Your cancer is different but you will make the best call for you and get well. Hugs. Jo

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Oh! I forgot I'll take Femara for 5 years.

      almost 6 years Flag
  • Mary Mangus Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    Hi Carla, I am sorry you are facing this decision. It's not easy! You have already received some good advice. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each procedure. Get a nurse navigator if you can--they can be extremely helpful. I was in your position a few months ago. I chose bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction for several reasons. Cancer runs in my family, I had very dense breast tissue that would not show lesions easily (my doc thinks they missed my cancer lesion at least 4 mammos ago or 5 years), I was worried about recurrence, and I wanted my boobs to match after surgery because I was very small and taking even a small chunk out would mean I needed reconstruction. Also, I was not thrilled about daily radiation for 6-7 weeks. Please talk thru this with others and then come up with the positive reasons for both procedures. Make your decision and never look back. Best of luck.
    almost 6 years Comment Flag
  • Wanda S Profile
    anonimamente
    Stage 1 Paciente
    Truly an individual decision. For me it was a no brainer. Both breasts changed in density from one year to the other. Had a mamo and was told I was ok. They should have given me an ultrasound to ensure nothing was hiding behind the density And they failed. Two months later I felt the lump in my right breast and the rest is history. Diagnosed with IDCiS and IDC , Stage 1, grade 2, 2 cm, clear nodes. I asked my breast surgeon what would he do I it were his wife and he said mastectomy. My lump was right in back of my nipple and being that my breasts were small I would have has a deformity had I gone with the lumpectomy. Peace of mind sealed it for me...I wanted to eliminate every possibility of another lump popping up in the other breast and the fact that there was a change in density would always make me worry. Go for a second opinion. My second opinion doc said lumpectomy. I went with my gut feeling and chose bilateral . God bless!
    about 5 years Comment Flag
  • Isabel Souchet Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2010
    I had a mastectomy with stage 1 as mine was also her2. For me, while traumatic, it felt safer to me. There are a lot of factors involved in making that decision. You need to ask surgeon a lot of questions. Not a decision to make lightly or without all the info
    almost 6 years Flag
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      I went for the mastectomy, too, at Stage 1B. My tumor was close to my nipple anyway, so a lumpectomy would make me look deformed. I also chose to be aggressive which is a deeply personal choice.

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I agree Evelyn

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Carla Victor-rawson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Evelyn & Isabel , how long did it take you to make up your minds? I just got my BRCA back a week ago, which I'm happy to say was negative. Now it's decision time. Did you get reconstruction?

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      Hi Carla, I had expanders

      almost 6 years Flag
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I had expanders but developed scar tissue, they had to be removed. Have not had reconstruction. Don't want to go through surgery again

      over 5 years Flag
  • Thumb avatar default
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I had stage 2 I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy for my own peace of mind. I am very happy with my decision.
    almost 6 years Comment Flag

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