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Choosing Between Double Mastectomy or Lumpectomy


I’m meeting with my surgeon this week to decide on surgery. I have 2 different types of cancer in both breasts. What are your thoughts or experience with double mastectomy vs mastectomy plus lumpectomy? I’m in my late sixties.


  • orangeflower
    orangeflower Member Posts: 95

    It's my understanding that statistically, lumpectomy+radiation is as effective as mastectomy if you're a candidate for lumpectomy (I wasn't). That said, there are women on this site who got a lumpectomy and went on to get new breast cancers eventually. If I had been a candidate for a lumpectomy, I probably would have rolled the dice and went that route because I find it hard psychologically to live with a mastectomy.

  • [Deleted User]

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • luckygirl27
    luckygirl27 Member Posts: 2

    I am sorry to hear your diagnosis. I had a similar diagnosis 9 years ago. One breast had 3 tumors and required mastectomy. The other had 2 very small DCIS nodules that could have been removed via lumpectomy. I opted for a double mastectomy because I didn’t want the radiation with the lumpectomy. Also, it required annual mammo. I decided to have bi lateral with immediate reconstruction. I was 50 years old at the time. Hope this helps.

  • [Deleted User]

    thank you

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,228

    Hi @hopeandhealth,

    This thread has been super helpful to many of our members making decisions on surgery:

    In addition, you might find this page helpful:

    We hope this helps!

    —The Mods

  • abigailj
    abigailj Member Posts: 101

    I had a similar situation in early 2020 at age 62 - IDC in one breast, ILC in the other. Was offered choice of lumpectomy in both to be followed by radiation or mastectomy without need for radiation. Since the ILC side would have taken a lot of tissue and I’m leery of radiation on left/heart side I opted for double mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap reconstruction. Recovery wasn’t easy but very pleased with results after some fat grafting revision. Majority of women that choose reconstruction opt for implants and recovery takes less time. Women choosing no recon recover more quickly from mastectomy as there are no foll-on procedures if the plastic surgeon does a smooth closure.

    My best wishes for a good outcome!

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 111

    Hi @hopeandhealth !

    Sorry you are going though this, but glad you have found us.

    Know that only YOU can make this decision and whatever you decide is the right decision.

    That being said….if it was me…I would do the bilateral mastectomy. As a person who has gone through a 2nd dx…it seems like if your body knew enough to make that many cancers, odds seem high that it is going to do it again. For my most recent dx, I knew I was going to want a mastectomy before I even talked to the surgeon. Since my body did it to me twice (even 19 years apart!), I wanted to get rid of as much breast tissue as possible——I didn't want to have to do this again if I can help it. (I did have a choice of a lumpectomy this time—nope not for me.) If you decide to do reconstruction, it's easier to do them together for symmetry, I think. If you decide to do DIEP, you can only do that once, so if only one breast now, you would need to do something else the next time if it happened.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Take care.