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Nov 15, 2019 07:44AM
Nov 15, 2019 10:25AM
Lumpectomy vs Mastectomy is a very personal decision, but it should be YOUR decision and one that YOU can live with. I had my first diagnosis at age 27, in 1999. I was stage 1 and my tumor was a little less than a cm in size. I was ER+/PR+ and grade 2, with no lymph node involvement. I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation and Tamoxifen. I was fine for 19 years until I had DCIS in 2018, and now a new (not recurrence) cancer this year.
I have "busy" breasts. I always have. I started having benign fibroadenomas in my late teens and had a LOT of biopsies through the years. I then had Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia, and then Atypical Lobular Hyperplasia, and DCIS. This final round I was diagnosed with a new invasive ductal carcinoma (you can see the stats on it in my signature below).
Had I known that I would NEVER have a normal mammogram (because of these various conditions), I would have opted for a double mastectomy back in 1999, but hindsight is 20/20. At the time, lumpectomy was absolutely the right decision for me and I didn't want a mastectomy. 20 years of abnormal mammograms, and biopsy after biopsy however have taken a mental toll on me. This time, I didn't hesitate to demand a double mastectomy and not one of my doctors pushed back on me.
If YOU want a mastectomy, and that is what will make YOU feel comfortable, the you should push for a mastectomy. This isn't the doctor's decision, its YOURS. Don't be rushed or pushed into making a decision you don't agree with. If your surgeon isn't listening to you, find one that will.
***Edited after rereading your post: with regards to chemo before surgery. I don't think they are trying to talk you out of mastectomy by suggesting this. Chemo is recommended before surgery in a lot of cases, it can often times help shrink the tumor to improve disease free margins around the tumor, etc.
First Dx at 27 years old in 1999, 2nd Dx 2018, 3rd Dx 2019... Current Oncotype: 26
12/7/1999, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/15 nodes, ER+/PR+
12/22/1999 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary
1/31/2000 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
2/1/2000 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
8/24/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
9/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Left
9/7/2018, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1
5/31/2019, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC)
8/5/2019 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
9/4/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
12/2/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone), Zoladex (goserelin)
3/24/2020 Femara (letrozole), Zoladex (goserelin)
7/16/2020 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant