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Jun 1, 2018 03:26PM
I am a 30F. Stage 2. Tumor size 2.5 cm. Her2+ Est+ Proj-. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Did a lumpectomy.
I don't know if this response will help you, since I am IDC and you are ILC, but maybe it will.
I was also freaking out about what to choose, because doctors wouldn't tell me their preference and I only had two weeks to make a decision. I did a lot of research and found that Lumpectomy + Radiation has almost exactly the same Recurrence rate as Mastectomy. Doctors tell you it is exactly the same, but I think recurrence is slightly less likely with mastectomy (but only by like a few percentage points). And the difference between the two is so small it's not statistically significant.
With all the stuff I read, I found that the hospital recovery time is much shorter for Lumpectomy. Recovery for Lumpectomy takes days. Recovery for Mastectomy takes weeks. With Mastectomy they also are more likely to have to add drains to drain fluid, and for there to be other problems after surgery like lymphodema. (Although of course having to do weeks of radiation kind of nullifies this benefit).
I also found that lumpectomy patients had a higher rate of survival than mastectomy patients. Part of this simply because people who are more likely to do mastectomy are also more likely to have a larger tumor, or be in a later stage of diagnosis. But there are those out there who abide by the school of thought, less is more, the less dramatic changes you make to your body, the better.
I also didn't want to have to go through the whole turmoil of plastic surgery. Part of this is because I was having some insurance issues and issues with continuity of care. But I also really don't like the idea of having an implant for the rest of my life, of having one boob that is dramatically different from the other, one boob I may not be able to breast feed with (if I have children), boobs may change shape from one another over time and then I have to get plastic surgery again to correct this. If you have an implant I think you have to change them out once every 15 years (so this means more surgery).
Also, after the mastectomy, doctors may potentially have to put an expander in your breast and keep it there for months. So that meant I'd have to get more surgery while I was doing chemotherapy, and I didn't want to do that.
One of the supposed benefits of mastectomy is that you get to skip radiation. But some people find out after doing the mastectomy that the STILL have to do rads.
So as someone who is a minimalist and a naturalist, I decided that I'd rather just do the lumpectomy, than do something as major as a mastectomy and then potentially discover later that I STILL had to do rads.
Hopefully I made the right decision. I guess with time I'll see.
And I hope this helps.