Mar 26, 2019 12:25PM nicreit wrote:
Hi Bruinjamie21-- Me, I did-- last year. I did genetic testing & did not have BRCA, but chose to have a double mastectomy in April. My lifetime likelihood of getting breast cancer was about 28% & while that's not 80 or 90%-- it's almost 1 in 3, terrible odds & it's almost 4 times higher than an "average" woman. Add to this that my breasts were very dense & lumpy & that my Drs said I needed to do an MRI every 6 months, in conjunction with a mammogram every 6 months FOR LIFE-- & I didn't want this much toxic exposure (mammo) & worry! I met with a great oncologist to review my options a- monitoring every 6 months, which I had been doing or b- Tamoxifen - no thanks, too many awful side affects & it only reduced my lifetime BC risk to half-- so 14% & then c- mastectomy. It was a tough decision, but I obviously chose "c". The oncologist said something that really struck me-- she said you can go the monitoring route ("a") & she felt confident that if I ended up having breast cancer we'd catch it early. But, she warned, know that even if we catch it early I'd likely have to have a mastectomy, plus radiation, plus chemo, plus Tamoxifen! It was ironic to think that I could end up having to do ALL the awful treatments even if I was diligent with monitoring.... my thought was, why not beat cancer to the punch??
Last year was a long road-- original surgery was in Feb, but I had a nipple issue that needed to be addressed so big surgery was pushed to April, then spent the summer going to appointments for my expanders (chose reconstruction) & then had reconst. surgery in October.
My Mom had breast cancer when she was 41/pre-menopausal-- she had a recurrence at 67 (Stage IV) & passed away at 72. My Aunt/Dad's side (blood-related) had triple negative BC in her 60's so I have it on both sides. My father died at age 61 from a very aggressive form of prostate cancer.
In any case, I do have a BIG monkey off my back & my insurance covered everything (once I met my deductible & annual OOP max). My lifetime risk is now 2%-- I'm 3Xs less likely than an "average" woman to develop BC & with my implants it will be glaringly obvious should a lump/tumor appear. It was the right decision for me.
Hope this helps & let me know if you have questions-- I'm happy to answer any/all that you have.