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Lumpectomy with radiation vs bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction

nancyefl Member Posts: 6
edited March 30 in Stage I Breast Cancer

Have any of had to make this decision? I have stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma in my left breast…right is fine. I’ve only to been to one surgeon and she said the decision is mine…either decision will result in the same survival rate. Deciding on getting a second opinion? I don’t know which procedure has the longer term effects…the radiation or the mastectomy. Which is more painful? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


  • walkingmydestiny
    walkingmydestiny Member Posts: 24
    edited March 30

    Hi Nancyefl I had grade 1A stage 1 and no nodes positive IDC and a lumpectomy,I had no trouble with 12 rounds of radiation, my tumor was also on the left side , my tumor was 1.5 cm I have been on an Al for almost 4 years now and I am just now having some unpleasant side effects I hope I can get to year 5 which is a year from this June…. Good luck on whatever you decide to do..

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,232

    Hi @nancyefl, and welcome to our community! We're so very sorry for the reasons that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us. As you can already see, our community is full of amazing members always willing to offer advice, information, encouragement, and support — we're all here for you!

    We wanted to point you to this thread, which has been a long-time helpful resource for many members making similar decisions:

    We hope this helps!

    —The Mods

  • meikosmom
    meikosmom Member Posts: 1

    Hello Nancy, sounds like your diagnosis is much the same as mine. I opted for lumpectomy and radiation. My first needle bx was diagnosed as IDC. It was noted on mammogram that I had another suspicious area, another needle bx showed atypical cells. When I had surgery the bx of that second area ended up being DCIS. Both areas have been excised as well as sentinel lymph nodes which thankfully were clear.
    I was very worried about surgery and radiation but I must say all went well and much easier than expected. My surgery was in November and radiation in January. I started Femera at the end of January, to be on it for five years to prevent recurrence. So far it makes me tired and has disrupted my sleep but ok other than that.
    Hope this helps and wishing you all the best in your decision

  • bythebay
    bythebay Member Posts: 17

    @nancyefl I opted for lumpectomy and radiation in similar circumstances with radiation 26 years ago. I did not have any other treatment and I was cancer free until a few weeks ago. All the best to you.

  • nancyefl
    nancyefl Member Posts: 6

    I can’t thank all of you enough. Our situations are so similar. Ultrasound has found two other suspicious but they are seemingly benign at this point. My tumor is 1.2 x 1.1, ER+, PR+, HER-. My surgeon in my first visit told me the tumor was huge and I had to get surgery immediately (no time to get a second opinion) which I find out is not the case. If lumpectomy it will be 4 weeks of rads and whichever I do will include tamoxifen or AI for 5 years.
    While the surgeon didn’t give an “official” opinion she said if it was her she would do the BMX. My pcp and gyne offered their opinions and also said BMX…their opinions based on less chance of recurrence. That’s part of my decision issue…I was pretty well set on lumpectomy with rads.
    Reading the comments helps me realize that although I have their opinions I have to do what I feel is best for me. You give me hope that if I go the lumpectomy route all should be fine.
    You have been extremely helpful in this nerve wracking time. THANK YOU.

  • kaynotrealname
    kaynotrealname Member Posts: 419

    A bilateral mastectomy will reduce your chances slightly of getting a local recurrence. However, it has no long term survival benefit and in fact quite recently studies have come out that give a lumpectomy plus radiation an edge there. My doctor doesn't think it's a true edge (in other words something beyond the surgery is causing the survival benefit) but it definitely bares consideration nonetheless. As for me, I chose the bilateral mastectomy because I no longer could bare my breasts since once of them decided to try and kill me and also because I despise scans. I didn't think mentally I could bare the scans and scrutiny that come with keeping your breasts after a breast cancer diagnosis. I had a good recovery, a good reconstruction, and have healed completely. No regrets. So whatever you think you could most live with is the right answer for you.

  • nancyefl
    nancyefl Member Posts: 6

    Thanks for your response kaynotrealname! Just a couple of more questions for you if you don’t mind? Did you have expanders and if so how long were they in? Were they just uncomfortable and not painful? Also how long was recovery after the implant? Sounds like you didn’t have any complications which is great! Did you have immunotherapy after? Thanks!!!