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.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Customer Service Can Kill Your Customer’s Experience

    Customer Service Kill Your Customer’s Experience

    With the advent of the Internet, social media, and instant communication via texting, customer expectations for service, as part of their entire customer... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Martin Zwilling
  • Sunday Bliss Is..

    Sunday Bliss Is..

    ..preparing this mouth watering coffee crème fraîche cheesecake in this gorgeous kitchen. Join the Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Myparadissi
  • “I Own My Life and I Have Decided to Live Long and Well!”

    A couple of months ago we wrote about Linda, her new type 2 diabetes diagnosis and the initial success with low carb. But that was just the beginning. This is... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Dietdoctor
  • Beat the Press

    Beat Press

    Like many people, I’ve been re-reading 1984 and wondering what’s going on in a country I thought I knew. With clear evidence of wrong-doing on the part of the... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Steveawiggins
  • Late May Update

    Late Update

    Apart from occasional successional sowings of salads, my sowing and planting for this year is mostly done. It's now time to sit back and watch things grow.... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Mwillis
  • If You Are Inviting Fat People to Your Event…

    Inviting People Your Event…

    This weekend there are tons of BBQ’s and such going on here in the states, but events and meetings happen every day. And every day, fat people are “invited” to... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Danceswithfat
  • Mountain Berries & Desert Spice

    Mountain Berries Desert Spice

    Today I want to tell you about a beautifully evocative book that focuses exclusively on sweet inspirations from the Hunza Valley to the Arabian Sea, written by... Read more

    The 28 May 2017 by   Mariealicerayner

Paperblog Hot Topics