Re: [MOL] breast implants [01805] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] breast implants



Dear Kat, I am so sorry to hear about the difficult year that you have
been having, and I can understand your desire to find some alternatives.
As Lillian said, these are very personal decisions, and we all react a
little differently. Only you can decide what is best for you. That being
said, I am happy to share a little of my own experience as a 4-year
breast cancer survivor who *had* to have a mastectomy, and chose
reconstruction. 

If you can avoid it, I don't recommend a mastectomy for cancer
prevention, for a variety of reasons. For one, my chest feels like I am
permanently wrapped in a giant ace bandage that I can never remove.
Though I have learned to tune it out most of the time, it is a constant
source of discomfort, even when it doesn't ache. I have an implant, and
my new breast is hard like a childs ball, and about as flexible, which
makes finding bras that fit an endless hassle. If the bra is flexible
enough to fit around it, it "shows" too much; if it is less transparent,
it usually isn't flexible enough to fit the weird shape.

The worst part is that while removing your breasts may cut some of your
risk, it WON'T give you 100% protection; you can still contract breast
cancer. I originally planned to have both breasts removed, the second as
a precaution, because I have a type of breast cancer that is more likely
to show up in the other breast. But the more I learned, the less it
seemed like a good option.

I do have a friend, who like you, had a lumpectomy followed by a number
of scares and cystectomies. She finally opted for a double mastectomy,
using the tram flap method of reconstruction, which looks a little more
natural, but is a more major surgery. In adition, it can only be done
once, so if you do contract cancer later, you're up a creek. My friend
is in her 60's, and seems happy with her choice. I'm in my 40's, and I
decided that tamoxifen and vigilance were probably the better route for
me. 

Again, my friend, only you know what is best for you, but you may want
to consider giving yourself a little time to recover from all you've
gone through, and then see how you feel about further surgeries. It may
be worth it to you, but it will not be without a cost. Only you can
decide if it's a cost you want to pay. All the best to you and your
family -- I'll be keeping you in my prayers. Your friend, Joicy

Kat Luker wrote:
> 
> Hi!!
> 
> I have undergone a lumpectomy and lymphectomy in June of 98.  I also
> underwent 6 weeks of radiation therapy and fortunatly It did not seem
> benifical for me to undergo chemotherapy.  I am currently on Tomoxefin
> and seem to be doing well on it. I had a complete hysterectomy 4 years
> ago and I believe taking estrogen therapy everyday was a big deciding
> factor for my body to trigger breast cancer.  I do realize however
> through some research of my own that there are many things that set you
> up for breast cancer. I have underwent 2 cystectomies in November of 98
> also.  To say the least this was very traumatic for my family, and for
> me to discover more lumps.  Fortunatly they were benign.  I have
> Fibromyalgia, and this agrevates my fibrotic breasts.  Please understand
> that I am not complaining for I feel lucky so far, but! I had another
> scare 2 weeks ago and it turned out to be scar tissue from the
> cystectomies.  So 3 scares in 10 months has taken it's toll on my
> emotions as well as my families.  I have 2 questions to anyone out there
> that can give me first hand knowlege rather professional or personal on
> the subjests of Tomoxifen and breast removal to prevent further cancer.
> I seem to have very brittle hair now and skin since going on tomoxifen
> is anyone else experiencing these side effects?  Also I would like to
> hear from any women that had her breasts removed as a cancer prevention,
> and had implants put in.  I have an Aunt who died from breast cancer and
> one that has survied 25 years.  The one who survived had implants put in
> and had trouble with scar tissue and pain.  The result of the scar
> tissue being the cause of her implants to collapse.  I have almost no
> scar tissue on the breast that had the lumpectomy, and a massive amount
> just since November on the opposite breast that had the cystectomy.  I
> had a very excellent surgeon who performed both surgeries and I have
> complete faith in him.  It seems to be a mystery  as to why I had two
> totaly different reactions in my breasts.  I do realize that this would
> be a huge decision for me to have my breasts removed and put implants
> in.  I have no way to get the opinion of any women on the subject that
> have actually done it and can give me the pros, and cons.  I need to
> have alot of info before I can make an informed decision.
> 
> I am 46 years old for general knowlege, and our family remains young for
> our ages.  That is why I am wondering about the Tomoxifen and if it
> could be causing my brittle hair and thinning.
> 
> Thank you to anyone out there that can give me some first hand info.
> 
> Kat Luker
> 
> email address is       rvre@cdsnet.net
> 
> P.S. a very good book for all women to read is  Dr. Bob Arnot's  Breast
> cancer prevention diet.  My onocologist recommended it and it is very
> informative and eye opening. Should be given to all young girls with
> breast cancer in their family, and used as a handbook.
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