How much did your breast change/shrink after rads?
It's been recommended to me to have a lumpectomy with rads however through research I've discovered that obviously the lumpectomy removes volume, but that radiation can significantly shrink or damage the breast. I'm already a B cup and asymmetrical and the mass is in my smaller breast. I'm VERY concerned that the outcome will leave me with a quite small/hard and uncomfortably different breast compared to my healthy one. As well as hearing that if I have a recurrence in the future the breast that had rad treatment could not be reconstructed or an implant placed due to the previous tissue damage. Some of the possible nerve side effects of rads are also concerning because I'm a professional photographer, so having nerve damage or weakness develop on the same side I use to hold my camera in the air would destroy my career.
And since I just turned 43, recurrence in the next 10 to 20 years is a strong possibility. For these reasons I'm leaning towards a double mastectomy and reconstruction now even though I'm only stage 1 and it's not technically medically necessary.
Could you please tell me what your experience with rads was and how it effected you, and how you feel about it? Thanks so much.