Breast cancer for the under-50s

Breast cancer is far less common in the under-50s, but this can leave younger people with a diagnosis feeling isolated. This group is a place for them to come together, share experiences and support each other.

Single mastectomy instead of double and no implant reconstruction.

Posted by

I met my surgeon today with one round of chemo to go. My cancer ( Larry the lump) is in my lefty but I had gotten my head round the decision to have both removed and reconstructed. Today the surgeon said he would only do Larry side unless my genetic test comes back positive in June.  He explained his reasons being healing and risks of infection etc as I’m a large boobed lady and that focus has to be on the cancer side . Removal of the right healthy one would be discussed at a later date.  He also said I wouldn’t be suitable for an implant reconstruction but the flap type instead . I’m a bit worried about that tho I have the tummy to spare for rebuild. Have any others on here been told they are not suitable for implant? I have read up on expanders etc . I guess I just assumed it could be that way. At the end of the day I know being healthy is the most important thing . 

Posted by

Hi Gilly

Are you due to have radiotherapy after your surgery??

I had a single mastectomy with an expander implant about 18 months ago, they wouldn’t give me a “permanent” implant at the time due to having radiotherapy following the surgery. The expander has kept my boob shape and skin in place because I knew I would end up having something else put in eventually. I have since had follow up meetings to discuss the best option for my final reconstruction. The tummy option is apparently the “gold star” option and gives the best results but it is a long recovery  

It is such a long process. Unfortunately my circumstance have changed but when I last saw my breast surgeon the plan was to do the final op on the “bad side” and then eventually lift and tuck the other side to make them symmetrical. 

I would have another chat with them and ask why they say you’re not suitable, they should give you all the options and all the information you need. I know we need to trust our doctors but we also need all the facts. Don’t be afraid to keep going over stuff with them

I hope you get some answers 

Posted by

Hi Gilly12,

I am in a similar position in that I am being referred for Genetic testing and they won't do anything with (in my case) Lefty until they know the results.  I take a drug that lowers my Immune System for Rheumatoid Arthritis which is why my Consultant isn't recommending an implant as it will become a potential source for infection moving forward.  Although my Consultant isn't totally happy with it, she is letting me have an Expander reconstruction on Righty in the interim while the testing progresses.  She said this would give me options later down the line if I had to have Lefty removed too, and at that point they would have the option of using my tummy to create 2 boobs.  If I went with the tummy option for Righty and it turned out I did have the Gene, then there would be no options but an implant or flat for Lefty.

I hope you are OK after your Chemo and that my input is helpful.