Patients Breast cancer
Should I go flat? BRCA1 positive
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- 2 comments
Hi guys, Andy here
How are you all?
Got tested last week and lo and behold, I have a 50-50 chance.. probably more because my grandmother on my mother's side had cancer too. I am considering a preventitive, prophylactic mastectomy because I'd rather not risk it, but it's still a huge decision
I dont really care all that much about the cosmetic stuff to be very very honest but just wanted to know if it has any other quality of life changes that I should know about. I've also been reading up that it doesn't really affect chances of survival all that much. Is this true?
I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Having a mastectomy is a major decision with quite a few physical and emotional impacts, so consulting your oncologist to discuss your individual risk and explore all options is paramount.
Let's see what other members of our breast cancer community have to say:
@MindyMorris @dztwwp @handsumque @msbham @Tuffgirlca @Ari768 @lesmarjan15 @Jhinx7 @leilael @StacyT @Olivia123 @JanieGurl@clucas913 @MaryP21 @MrsCarr11 @Inès_ra_us198 @peanuzts @ChristinaG @KHFAMDOC @tfriel @Sears22 @cshoffstall @Aharju @Lasocalblue @skwiden @Lill55 @mendozatamila @Mama312 @Grantie @LuluLang @lemonpye2011 @Katie91821 @KyLakeGirl @BimBim5 @Justangiee15 @Missyg @CCherich @Lori09 @gg2222 @Clopez @SugarCub3 @Klreplogle @sherianne69 @ohnoagain @BevSpicer @Griffithdm @DarPerrotta @Lizabeth @jeangilmorej @Janetmaday @Luna1234 @Akolarova @Lazydazy @SusanBennett @Trinidad @Iamalifer @Ferdie @Diane2021
Would you recommend that our friend here should go through with it? What personal consequences did you experience after having a mastectomy, if you've had one?
Thank you for your input and take care, everyone. 🌼
Somya from the Carenity team
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Somya from the Carenity team
First let me say I'm sorry you have to consider this at all. It is hugely difficult and sometimes tough to get real answers from doctors. Second, look carefully into the real prophylactic effects of this choice. Do some researching on this option. From what I have read, it may not prevent BC despite your sacrifice. Finally ask tons of questions and know the options. Doctors can be short and brief with you about this decision when it is a life altering choice. Don't be afraid to ask and request explanations. If they don't give you a response, find another doctor. Make sure you trust your surgeon and request a plastic surgeon for your close. Here are a few things I've learned from friend who went flat...doctors don't always believe you when you say you want to go flat so they do things that will make it easier to change your mind but make being flat difficult. "dog ears" under your arms can be left that are annoying and prevent you from enjoying the choice. These allow for future implants and better aesthetic outcomes but for those who want and will stay flat it means deciding on a second surgery to remove them. For reconstruction, you can use implants or your own fat or a combination. Look into all these choices. If you are an athlete, being flat could be a great choice. Why request a plastic surgeon? It's the difference between having huge jagged scars and a very finely sewn nearly invisible line. It's worth the request. Surgeons just sew stuff together normally, Plastic surgeons are taught to sew layers together so the whole system lays flat. Like sewing five layers of fabric results in a bunched up seam, while sewing each layer individually can be less lumpy and smoother. Use the scar softener tapes found at walgreens or amazon to keep the scars soft. My doctor didnt even know what these were. They work. I learned about them from another cancer survivor. Here is ACS article on prophylactic mastectomy. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/breast-cancer/risk-and-prevention/preventive-surgery-to-reduce-breast-cancer-risk.html#:~:text=A%20prophylactic%20mastectomy%20can%20lower,go%20on%20to%20become%20cancer. And an article about going flat https://www.cancercenter.com/community/blog/2023/07/going-flat-after-mastectomy#:~:text=Some%20of%20the%20most%20common,complications%20and%20other%20health%20problems
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