Health Magazine

Why Choose Mastectomy Or Lumpectomy?

Posted on the 11 June 2011 by Jean Campbell

When a woman’s breast cancer is small enough to make a candidate for a lumpectomy followed by radiation, why would she choose a mastectomy?

With early detection, over 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer may be candidates for a lumpectomy or other breast conserving surgery. Still, over half this number opt for mastectomies…why? The reasons are many and include:

  • Not knowing they have a choice
  • Living in a rural area and having to travel a substantial distance to access radiation Monday through Friday for 6+weeks would be a hardship
  • Cost- lumpectomy and radiation cost more in the short-term than a mastectomy and some insurance plans will not cover all the expenses related to breast conservation surgery. In keeping with the 1998 law mandating reconstruction coverage, insurance companies will cover reconstruction following a mastectomy.
  • Unable to have radiation therapy following a lumpectomy because of other medical conditions such as heart disease or lupus.
  • Fear of radiation and its side effects such as fatigue and skin burn
  • Fears about loss of work time, or inability to care for family during course of radiation treatment
  • Believing that a mastectomy offers greater protection from recurrence
  • Wanting to put the entire breast cancer experience behind them as quickly as possible

Hopefully, each woman who is a candidate for breast conservation therapy will have a surgeon who takes the time to review the pros and cons of both a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. Mastectomy would be the obvious choice when other medical conditions preclude radiation therapy. While travel distance, cost factors, and job and family responsibilities might also make a mastectomy the better choice, the surgeon may be able to allay a woman’s fears about recurrence rates by citing studies that demonstrate the recurrence rates following mastectomy and lumpectomy.

If a woman has the choice between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy, then she needs to have these procedures explained in detail, not only the surgeries themselves, but what she can expect following these surgeries. She needs to know  following a lumpectomy what her breast may look like following the surgery; following radiation, and what reconstruction options are available to her should she be dissatisfied with appearance of her breast. She needs to know the pros and cons of reconstruction if she choose to have a mastectomy. What will be the length of the surgery if she has reconstruction at the same time as having her breast removed? What are the chances of her needing multiple surgeries following the initial reconstruction?

While this is a large amount of information to sift through following a diagnosis of breast cancer, this information is critical if a woman is to make an informed choice.

Sources: www.breastcancer.org   www.HealthSearches.org   www.WellSphere.com


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Lumpectomy Reconstruction

    I’ve written a few times about my disappointment in the marked differences in my breasts following a lumpectomy and radiation. Read more

    By  Jean Campbell
    HEALTH
  • Why We Love Chips

    Love Chips

    image credit Eating just one chip (potato crisp, French fries, or whatever you call them) without then devouring the rest is almost impossible for most people t... Read more

    By  Gerard
    HEALTH
  • Lumpectomy Considered a Safe Option for Young Breast Cancer Patients

    Lumpectomy Considered Safe Option Young Breast Cancer Patients

    The results of two separate studies presented at the recent Multidisciplinary Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco indicate that a lumpectomy doesn’t carry ... Read more

    By  Jean Campbell
    HEALTH
  • How to Choose the Best Exfoliant

    Choose Best Exfoliant

    Exfoliants are an integral component of any healthy skin care routine because they make all other products work more efficiently, and effectively. So let’s... Read more

    By  Jackiebernardi
    HEALTH
  • How to Really Choose the Right Cleanser for Your Skin

    Really Choose Right Cleanser Your Skin

    If you were asked to be completely honest, could you describe the decision making process that you went through when you chose the product you use to wash your... Read more

    By  Jackiebernardi
    HEALTH
  • Why This

    …kolaveri kolaveri kolaveri di? I just cannot get this song out of my head. I do not understand half the lyrics but the latest viral video song on youtube is... Read more

    By  Pranab
    HEALTH, MEDICINE
  • Why Cleanse?

    I have gotten a lot of questions about why I choose to do cleanses... so I thought I'd tell you the answer here. First of all, let me just say that the kind of... Read more

    By  Healthhungry
    HEALTH, LIFE COACH

Paperblog Hot Topics

Magazine