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Topic: Giving up Breat feeding - will I regret it?

Forum: Family and Family Planning Matters —

A comforting place to discuss planning a family, fertility concerns, parenting children, or relationship issues with partners, siblings, or parents following a diagnosis.

Posted on: Oct 9, 2019 06:47AM

BettyGrant wrote:

Hello, I'm 31 and have the BRAC 2 mutation.

I'm planning on having a preventative mastectomy but cannot make a decision on when. My plan was to do it next year - taking the pressure off to have children first. Both my family and my husbands family have terrible history with cancer so it seems like a good decision to get it all done and dusted and then move on with our lives.

However, I'm concerned about breast feeding and if I will come to regret the decision to not have given myself the chance to do it. I'm wondering about other people take on this or experience of not being able to breastfeed - due wither to mastectomies or did you plan to and then couldn't anyway?. Part of me thinks it's a small thing to hold out for - while the other part of me wonders if actually I'm just being too mathematical about a big decision.

Any advice?

Thank you!

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Oct 9, 2019 07:09AM santabarbarian wrote:

This is a tough decision. Often with BRCA they recommend ovaries to come out too; is that part of this? Is there a rush, or can you plan the surgery for 5 years down the road? Is pregnancy itself a risk?

For me breastfeeding was a joyful experience I am very glad I had. I even still love my breasts (despite cancer) for their incredible service to my children. (One of the reasons I was shocked to have BC is that breastfeeding is preventative and I did a lot of it!)

The chance of not being able to breastfeed is low if you have a normal birth and healthy baby and good breastfeeding management to begin. Once you have the latch and position figured out it is very easy (much easier!). OTOH I have a step daughter who came into my life as a toddler and feel no different about her and my bond with her than I do about my two sons whom I breastfed.

In order of importance: you being alive, you being a mother, you breastfeeding. So if you can do all three with out too much risk you could push the surgery later. Do you have dense breasts that are hard to monitor? That might be another factor. Maybe get a few opinions. Is it a rush in the medical opinion of your dotor? It seems like 31 might be years before BRCA problems result in cancer.

pCR after neoadjuvant chemo w/ integrative practices Dx 7/13/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 8/13/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/11/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes

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