Hello everyone, I've been posting occasionally on this board for the past few weeks but this is the first time I'm starting a conversation. I got some news this week and I'm trying to decide what to do - -I thought I might get some good advice from those of you who have already had a mastectomy or have made a similar decision. (If this conversation would fit better on another section please redirect me!)
I had a lumpectomy with SNB in January (microscopic cancer cells in sentinal node), and then a re-excision and axillary dissection last week. The good news from the second surgery is that all the lymph nodes were clean. The bad news is that the found "DCIS in all margins" and the surgeon is recommending a mastectomy. I will be going through chemo first (starting in a few weeks) so I have some time to consider my options, consult with the oncologist, find a plastic surgeon, etc. I do plan to have immediate reconstruction.
I am trying to decide whether it makes sense to do a bilateral mastectomy or just do the one side. There is no indication now of cancer in the other breast (bone scan, CT scan all normal, too) and my genetic testing came back negative. The doctor said that removing the other breast is not medically necessary. But I am wondering about chances for recurrence over my lifetime -- I am 41.
Then I'm wondering about the aesthetic aspect. I am now a DDD cup, so if I get a uni-lateral mast, I would definitely get a reduction on the other side as well, so I can have two matching, medium-sized breasts. But will they really match? I haven't even begun to explore the various options for recon, but I would imagine that the two sides would look different, age differently, etc.
I'm also wondering about how it feels to have a uni- vs bilateral. Does it feel weird/uneven to have one natural and one reconstructed, or do you get used to it?
I would appreciate any thoughts, feedback, experience w/ any of this. Thanks!!!
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Dx 12/20/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-