A Cochrane review of studies concludes: The trend has been that more and more women who have cancer in one breast are opting for a double mastectomy Looking at the latest available data, the trend has been that more and more women who have cancer in one breast are opting for a double mastectomy. One thing I have learned from her is that many women mistakenly believe that a mastectomy is the only or the safest way of dealing with their cancer. But this much I know: That morning at the hospital, I watched my husband go through disbelief how could we possibly be going to call this operation off? I might have been fine after all with my new body.
And I also know that many women who have had mastectomies do find it difficult to reconcile themselves to the body they inhabit after surgery. In the years since, some research has shown that lumpectomy plus radiotherapy might lead to better outcomes than a mastectomy. What I should have been asking was: I knew she was someone I could trust. Lumpectomies are usually accompanied by radiotherapy. Ductal breast tumours are more likely to be felt as lumps; lobular cancer may not produce a palpable lump, but may cause changes to skin texture puckering or dimpling or the nipple may be pulled in, or the skin may seem different. A recently published Dutch study looked at , patients. I never want to be a cancer patient again, and the checks make me into one, albeit temporarily. Thereafter, what I have realised is that others take their lead from you. For much of the 20th century, a full mastectomy was the gold-standard treatment for breast cancer. But does the evidence support this action? I felt so much happier in her hands that I started to blot out the terribleness of losing my breast. The facts about mastectomy are complex, but many women undergo a single or even double mastectomy without even beginning to unravel them. Waiting for the results of these and the mammograms and ultrasounds is traumatic. It is republished here under a Creative Commons licence Topics. The second is using chemotherapy or endocrine drugs to shrink the tumour, which means that surgery can be less invasive. There are two significant fronts: My breasts seemed such an important part of me. I knew the operation was going to get rid of the cancer, but how would I feel about my new body I was facing major surgery: Of course I wanted the cancer gone, but at the same time I wanted my sense of myself intact. What she said was: I am ridiculously proud she counts me among them. But in the force 10 storm that my life had so suddenly become, MacNeill was my first sight of dry land for days. Similarly friends who thought I was being foolish, or was in denial, now know why I made the choice I did. I guess I thought MacNeill would turn back into the room, sit down on the bed and reassure me that everything would turn out OK in the end. For example, one large population study based in California looked at nearly , women with unilateral breast cancer stage 0 to III. I might have been fine after all with my new body.
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