Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

Quadrectomy or MX?

No. of entries: 8 | Posted on 1 Aug 2012 8:51 AM

Quadrectomy or MX?

  • Hello


    I have been given option of quadrectomy or MX. The lump is about 3.5cm and will need large lumpectomy emoving quarter of breast. Surgeon said he would advise mx if it was his wife as he can do reconstruction at later date but breast care nurse cautioned against mx as lump removal less radical and will conserve nipple even though top outside quarter of breast will be removed. She said reconstruction is 10 hr op. So confused as to which option.

    I am more concerned re survival at this stage - both nurse and doctor said survival rates similar for both procedures.

    Has anyone had a quadrectomy and how was this?

    Above all this my main worry is that they will find out it has spread. So hard right now living with the worry of this

    Love Stoksie x

  • I presume you mean that you would have a diep flap operation as a reconstruction?  To be honest, that is the least of the problems, since you will be asleep and suddenly wake up however long you're out! 

    I'm surprised that your BCN advised against - I thought the rules were that they weren't allowed to advise.  However, if the nipple is conserved you a) may still not have feeling there, and b) there is a 5% chance of a recurrence in the nipple, since the ducts lead from there. 

    My story - I had a WLE to remove an infinitesimal lump, and SNB.   Nodes were clear, but not clear margins on lump, so had further excision.  After this, my boob was very puckered - they tried to avoid a big scar, so went in around the nipple, and I couldn't bear to look at it.  I could probably have had some reconstruction (lipofilling or something) to fill it out again, but when I went  back for results, they'd found more cancer cells, so it was MX for me.  I opted for a double with immediate recon with implants.  I didn't need further RT or chemo, and was put on Tamoxifen, but am currently off it.  Going back on later today as long as I remember!

    My  boobs don't look bad but they are a lot firmer than I was expecting, and can be painful at times, but I think that's just me, since one of them moves more than it should.  I'm currently contemplating having a DIEP flap procedure. 

    Good luck with whatever you decide. 

    Helen x

  • Hi Helen

    Thanks so much for your thoughts. The BCN didn't advise outright but she said she would play'devil's advocate' which meant she only gave arguments for the quadrectomy. She was concerned re the emotional side of things and how I would feel losing a breast. I was for an mx before I saw her because the physical health side is paramount and now not so sure. Guess she has made me think.  I need to decide before they do the SNB next Thurs so your contribution really welcome.

    The thing that is worrying me is whether or not it has spread and the waiting is agonising. I know this is common but I feel like I have a chest infection and can't help worrying re my sore chest/coughing. 

    Elaine x

  • Ah, fair enough I suppose.  Losing a breast is definitely hard.  Some people are just glad to have the cancer out - because mine was so small and no one could feel it, plus I felt fine in myself, it was almost like a secondary consideration for me. 

    See if you can ask for an MRI - they're not fool proof but if there were mets anywhere they would likely show up.  It's probably just a chest infection, and you're worrying unnecessarily, but that's easy for me to say!  As has been said before on here, cancers really don't generally rampage out of control through the body, but there are so many myths about it that it's difficult to put this idea out of your mind. 

    This really is the worst time - once decisions are made, and you start actually going down the route of treatment, you will find things get easier. 


  • You are right. I am hoping to feel better when decisions have been made and I can move forward.

    Thanks again for your help



  • Hi I had a quadectomy in March. Only reason I know that is because it is in my notes and to be honest I am going to clarify at my next appointment as I thought the scaring would be more obvious. I am very large in the bust and whilst I can see a small difference once dressed it isn't really noticeable. The surgeon seemed to go in via the edge of my nipple and he got clear margins. I had a horrendous chest infection with me ending up on strong antibiotics just prior to my op. My dad had died 5 weeks previously and I developed the chest infection the day after the funeral and didn't get shot of it until a couple of days before my op. They will probably do a chest x-ray as standard and may do other tests if needed. I needed to know that my bc hadn't spread, even after having a negative snb so I was given MRI, CT and bone scan. Hope your op goes well whatever you decide. L

  • Hiya

    Glad the op went well. It is heartening to those of us who haven't got there yet. I think the reason the surgeon preferred Mx was because I am C cup and he advised it would be very noticeable. BCN said that if I had quadectomy at least I would retain my cleavage but to be honest that is very very least of my concerns. Thanks for sharing re your chest infection - they can hang around. Glad your scans were clear and am thinking along same lines for peace of mind



  • Hi, Well i'm a GG and I honestly can't notice a huge difference that is part of the reason why I am querying that he didn't just do a lumpectomy. The dr after the op said 'oh you had the quadrectomy' and they asked me to carry my notes from one department to another so I stopped to have a read (nosey me never) and it clearly stated I had a quadrectomy. My lump was only 1.6 cm though. Good luck. L