After all the tests, doctors’ appointments and discussions I choose to have a bilateral mastectomy. During this procedure, the surgical oncologist removes the breast and all of the surrounding breast tissue to prevent the disease from coming back. He will also do a lymph-node dissection to check if there are any infected lymph-nodes. If that’s the case, the chances of the cancer spreading to other areas of your body increases.
There were several reasons I choose this option.
- The cancer in my right breast was multi-focal. This means there are several small tumors clustered together in the same area. They ranged from a few millimeters to greater than a centimeter. It was like a solar system of small tumors.
- Besides the area on the bottom of my right breast, there was a mass on the right side of my breast almost under my armpit. This area is very close to where your lymph-nodes are located. You could feel it from the outside, it felt like a large bump –maybe the size of a grape.
- Even though the area of concern in my left breast turned out to be benign, I didn’t want to live with the risk and possibility of breast cancer in my left boob. Because the cancer on the right was multi-focal, it could easily spread to the other breast.
- As you know from earlier posts I had very large breast. I could not imagine keeping one and then trying to surgically match the other one. I was also very clear from the get go that I did not want implants. At that time, I had read an article about some people getting sick from the implants. Just the other day there was another article about the side effects of implants.
Both breast had to go!
We put the process for the surgery in motion. I was diagnosed on July 25 and the surgery was scheduled for August 31. I had a sense of urgency when I was diagnosed. I wanted the cancer removed from my body as soon as possible. I had already waited too long between feeling a bump in early 2017 and seeing my doctor in July. I didn’t want to wait anymore.
The next step was an appointment with the plastic surgeon. The surgical oncologist and plastic surgeon operate together. More about my visit to the plastic surgeon in my next post.