Re: [MOL] Radiation or complete masectomy? [01025] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Radiation or complete masectomy?



Shannon, I had a total mastectomy in 1995  so,  I can speak on this.  I
believe most of the side effects are emotional, after all one is pernmently
disfigured.  One can no longer have injections, blood drawn from that arm or
blood pressures taken.  One must exercise the arm daily.  Ofcourse in todays
age one can have a trans flap and implant and other goodies; but they also
come with restrictions.  One can opt not to have implants, and use external
devices; which is what I did.  The only draw back to these is they tend to
be heavy and very hot.  So there are many things to look at and know that we
will keep your mother in our prayers that her decision is the best for her.
Your friend, lillian
-----Original Message-----
From: Shannon Hopkins <shann44@ibm.net>
To: mol-cancer@lists.meds.com <mol-cancer@lists.meds.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 10:06 PM
Subject: [MOL] Radiation or complete masectomy?


>Hi,
>
>I joined the list yesterday and have been amazed at the outpouring of
>support for those with cancer. I thank Liz for referring me.
>
>I have a question. I'm writing on behalf of my mother, who was diagnosed
>with breast cancer during a routine mammogram a month or so ago. At
>first the doctors thought it would be easy, caught early. They reckoned
>a lumpectomy and radiation would fix it. But the cancer is grade three
>(very aggressive, I guess), is in her blood and lymph ducts (but not
>nodes), and involves overexpression of the P53 gene, which is barely
>responsive to chemo at all (2 percent chance of remission).
>
>She has decided against chemo. Her oncologist has suggested that she get
>radiation, but she seems to be developing lymphodema. She's had terrible
>problems with the lymph node removal. Apparently radiation can make
>lymphodema much worse. So the option is a total mastectomy, which she
>has learned can cause burning, tingling, phantom pain and all sorts of
>other things. Given that she seems to be suffering from Murphy's Law
>(whatever can go wrong will go wrong), she's dubious about both the
>radiation and the mastectomy. Her goal is to prolong her life while
>keeping its quality. Her question is, has anyone out there had a
>complete mastectomy, and what have been the lingering side effects after
>the wound has healed? What about radiation-induced lymphedema? She needs
>to make a decision and would like as much info as possible. So whatever
>information people can give me would be much appreciated.
>
>Thanks so much, and thanks to Lillian who so quickly got me a list of
>links to relevent sites.
>
>Shannon
>
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