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Can't Decide Between Lumpectomy or BM(x)

Age: 51

IDC stage 1 (possible2) right breast

Estrogen Positive

Tomorrow, I see my breast surgeon again, and I am supposed to share with him if I want to go for a Lumpectomy or mastectomy. If I did a mastectomy, I would do a double mastectomy.

I have been thinking and thinking. In one way, it would be easier to do a lumpectomy. However, the radiation doesn't thrill me; I would also worry if I got it all.

Double Mastectomy would make me feel like I gave it my best shot and not so much follow-up.

I have very bad anxiety and depression, and I take meds. So that is also factored into my decision. I am currently leaning toward Double Mastectomy but worried about the recovery.

Any advice, comments, suggestions.


  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 100

    Hi @nilespark44 -

    First of all, KNOW that whatever decision you make for YOU…it is the RIGHT decision. No one but you knows how you will feel. Others (like me) can only tell you their experiences. What was the right decision for me, may or may not be the right decision for you. This is one of those 'gut' decisions. What is your gut telling you?

    I have been dxd twice. The first time I did a single mx with delayed reconstruction. I was dxd again 19 years later and had a mx on the other side with recon. For me, it was the right decision at the time. Once I made it, I had no regrets. Could a double mx the 1st time have prevented me getting it again? Maybe. Maybe not. We just don't have a crystal ball. So, we think it through, we make a decision and once made it is absolutely the RIGHT decision for you.

    Listen to your gut. Your decision WILL BE the correct decision regardless of what happens in the future.

    Hang in there. Best of luck to you.

  • nilespark44
    nilespark44 Member Posts: 28

    mandy23, thank you. That was just what I needed to hear. The best decision for me. thank you.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,884

    @nilespark44, we know this decision can be very difficult. We wanted to point you to a very helpful discussion here called Considerations: Lumpectomy with Radiation vs. Unilateral Mastectomy vs. Bilateral Mastectomy which helps you undersand the benefits and drawbacks and questions you should be asking yourself in this decision.

    Additionally, our page on Mastectomy vs. Lumpectomy may be helpful.

    We hope you come to your decision with confidence clarity! Let us know what you decide, and we'll all be here to support you!

    —The Mods

  • everythingwillbefine
    everythingwillbefine Member Posts: 35
    edited February 23


    I had mastectomy with no reconstruction twice.

    2020 I had left mastectomy with no recon.

    2023 I had right mastectomy with no recon.

    I was 50 when I had my right mastectomy.

    Both times I had DCIS.

    I wish I had double mastectomy in 2020 if time can go back. As at that time the right breast also had ADH and I had lumpectomy on my right breast. Anyway I am happy that I did not have reconstruction. But it's me. Everyone has their own opinion of whether or not have reconstruction after mastectomy. No right or wrong answer.

    You will need to listen to yourself and any decision is right for you.

    I was worried about the recovery before my first mastectomy but it turned out really not that bad. I recoved in 2 weeks and went back to work in 3rd week. No pain. But that's a single mastectomy. Double mastectomy you might need more time healing.

    Good luck and you will be fine!

  • vlnrph
    vlnrph Member Posts: 487

    Niles, the decision is probably already made so I’m just wondering whether anyone referred you for genetic counseling. Even without strong family history, if testing is suggested and significant mutations are found, you may want to alter follow-up procedures & inform others.

    Almost too much to consider when facing choices like this. My motto has been “Be confident that the path you’re taking is due to selecting the best option with the information you had available at the time”. Hope your surgery goes well with an easy recovery!

  • pinkbutterfly71
    pinkbutterfly71 Member Posts: 26
    edited February 29

    Hi, I was diagnosed with In Situ DCIS (estrogen & progesterone positive) I had a lumpectomy on my r side and have an expander in place for my radiation treatments.

    There is a mass on the left side they will remove next round of surgery in the fall after I have recovered from the radiation. they couldn’t get it out successfully this past surgery. I chose the lumpectomy because my cancer was caught early and I’m 52. I do have an implant (I chose to also have a reduction with my reconstruction surgery) in my left breast and will have reconstruction to match it in the fall when they go back in to remove expander and the mass on the L side. I hope you feel better with all of the insights and can make a decision that works FOR YOU. 💕