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Nipple-sparing double mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction

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Hello, I apologize if this is not the place to ask or if I could have found this answer elsewhere. I am new to the forum and was a little confused trying to navigate.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47 years old. She is the first in her family to get breast cancer. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 70. He is one of 4 brothers, and they all had prostate cancer. I had my first mammogram last year, and the findings said 2 calcifications that were "likely benign", and no one ever called me or followed up so I assumed this was positive, however, that is how my mother's was first discovered.

I am very interested in getting a nipple sparing double mastectomy with reconstruction, while I am still young and healthy. I had a consultation with an oncologist last fall as she came recommended for this procedure, I was told she does this frequently with a specific plastic surgeon. I felt very discouraged and overwhelmed after my consultation. I felt that she discouraged me from getting this done and spent a lot of time describing the procedure to me in a way that made me feel like I was wasting her time with this consultation, and was doing her best to not see me again until I have a cancer diagnosis.

I do not want to wait for a diagnosis. I thought this would be something that would be encouraged. Should I seek out a second opinion? Should I just stand my ground? Am I wrong to think that?

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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,081
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    Hi @dabcvt,

    We can understand your concerns given your maternal and paternal family's history with both breast and prostate cancer. Have you considered genetic testing yet? It's possible that in spite of your family history, the MO (medical oncologist) did not feel it warranted a double mastectomy when she was looking at your overall risk factors. While a double mastectomy could reduce your risk for breast cancer, it does not eradicate the possibility for you to develop breast cancer completely ( https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/preventive-surgery-to-reduce-breast-cancer-risk.html#:~:text=A%20prophylactic%20mastectomy%20is%20surgery,will%20not%20get%20breast%20cancer. ). You could ask her to expand on the reasoning behind her reservations, or seek a second opinion if she is not providing you with a clear enough explanation.

    Here is some information on genetic testing for breast cancer:

    Given that your mother had breast cancer and your father had prostate cancer does considerably raise your risk, so you could bring this up to the oncologist you spoke with, and bring in the below article to provide the statistics to advocate your concern.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,853
    edited April 26
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    dabcvt,

    I am so sorry that this is concerning you. The moderators have pointed you in the right direction.
    Forgive my bluntness, but in the absence of any credible evidence of potential disease, doctors are not in the business of removing healthy body parts at the patients request. Think about it. We don’t go to doctors and ask them to perform surgery on perfectly healthy body parts simply because we perceive there to be a risk of disease. Do no harm? The very act of unnecessary surgery contradicts that. However, genetic testing would be a great idea as you could then see if you carry any of the known genetic mutations. Testing often involves genetic counseling which may be helpful in getting you to understand your risk, if any. If it helps ease your mind, the vast majority of breast cancers are unrelated to any known genetic mutations; only about 20%! I myself have a grandmother who passed from bc, a sister who passed from a uterine sarcoma, and I belong to an ethnic group with a higher than average incidence of BRCA 1. I have had all of the available genetic testing. The results? All negative 🤷🏻‍♀️
    Seriously, look into genetic testing . It may really help ease some of your concerns.