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New cancer in other breast: Lumpectomy or mastectomy?

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unklez
unklez Member Posts: 1

Hi,

I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (3 cms) in 2009. Treated with lumpechtomy + radiation + chemo. No recurrence. I have been having annual checkups with the occasional need to have further testing due to some suspicious finding or other.

A new cancer was discovered in the other breast 2 weeks ago.

It is 1.2 cms.

ER+ PR+ HER2-

Grade 1, which means low growth rate. KI-67 score is low also, which I am told mean low chances of spreading.

The surgeon says that the standard of care according to the guidelines is lumpechtomy + rad but understands if I want to get mastechtomy.

My mind says get a double mastechtomy + reconstruction and be free of worry for the rest of my life.

What are the thoughts of others who have been in this situation?

Love, Onty

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,067
    edited August 2022
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    Welcome unklez and thank you for posting. We are sorry that your current diagnosis has brought you to Breastcancer.org, but we are here to help support you through this journey.You are in the right place to get the answers and support you are looking for. We will check back in with you in the next couple of days to see if others have posted and you have had the opportunity to gain some insight.

    Best,

    The Mods

  • gerrib
    gerrib Member Posts: 60
    edited August 2022
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    I had unilateral mastectomy for contralateral breast cancer. I just wanted it to be over. I did intend to have first side removed at a later date, but haven't got around to it.

  • mavericksmom
    mavericksmom Member Posts: 1,162
    edited August 2022
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    I was just diagnosed for a third time. I had surgery for IDC in 2003, ILC in 2019. As many here know, I went to a well know cancer hospital in Philadelphia and my surgeon refused to do a bilateral mastectomy. He ranted on and on about how unlikely it would be for me to get cancer in my other breast. He said the hospital policy was not to remove a healthy breast in someone who is BRCA neg. I had a mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction.

    Now, three years later I have been diagnosed with breast cancer in my only remaining breast! I am now being treated at my local hospital and have a wonderful breast surgeon who I saw prior to the mammogram that was BIRADS 4! It is the first time I chose my surgeon as opposed to the other two times when I was “assigned" a surgeon!

    I am having a mastectomy with reconstruction and have an appointment with the plastic surgeon next week.

    I won't tell you what to do but will offer lessons I learned.

    1. Once you have radiation on a breast, it may (in my case it did) make healing from reconstruction in the future more difficult.

    2. Yes, it could be years before you get breast cancer again, or never. That said, I can speak from experience that going through the whole cancer treatment is difficult at best! You know how weird it is to feel perfectly well, then be told you need surgery! It is so hard to go through it over and over again! Honestly, I am scared! Surgery always comes with risks. I feel so much less prepared to go through all the pain again. It is torture! I would not wish this on anyone!

    3. Every time you need to deal with a cancer related issue it comes with fear, and can suck out the joy in your life. Who wants that, even though it is temporary. It also hurt me, and will again, both health wise and financially. I am in my upper 60's and planned to only work one more year. This will very likely cause me to work two more years to be where I want to be financially. I know I am healthier now than I most likely will be in years to come.

    4. Everyone can get breast cancer again! Yes, those with certain types, like BRCA positive, have a higher risk but if you have breast tissue, you can get breast cancer! Having a double mastectomy, while not a 100% guaranteed to make me free from breast cancer, is the best I can do to prevent this from happening to me again.

    Remember, this is YOUR decision. It doesn't matter what anyone else does. This is your body, your life. Take all the information and apply it to you. Do what YOU feel is right for YOU!

    I hope this helps you. Wishing you well! You are not alone

  • gh11
    gh11 Member Posts: 27
    edited August 2022
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    Hi Mavericksmom - thank you for sharing that. I am thinking of having a DIEP flap on my right breast only - no cancer in left breast. When you had your mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction in 2019, did you have to have a breast lift on the other breast in order to have symmetry? Or were you able to leave the other breast untouched and have symmetry? I understand a DIEP flap is a one and done, so I assume you can't take from your abdomen again for this next surgery? What alternative have you chosen and why? Thanks so much for your help. Lots of confusing choices....