The surgery’s a day surgery, even though they, in my case they took quite a bit of tissue, but it was done in one day. I was able to go home. I went out for lunch with my sister the next day although I don’t think you should do that. I think that was a bad decision because I didn’t feel well after that. It was fine if we look at all the research, the radical mastectomy approach doesn’t have better outcomes, being able to keep your breast is kind of a nice, nice thing especially if your surgeon’s really good in terms of not mutilating you I guess, for lack of a better word. It’s fairly convincing evidence that the partial or partial’s just another term for lumpectomy, one does not imply more tissue than the other, it’s just they’re synonymous. So those approaches that are breast conserving, let’s say, have very good outcomes. There’s really no need for excess surgery, although it’s kind of clouded now, with all the Angelina Jolie and stuff, where she’s clearly in a different category with having a BRCA1 gene*(Breast cancer 1 gene). So, I can see why she did what she did, but I think a lot of women have jumped to surgery thinking it’s, more radical surgeries, thinking that they’re a better option, when they’re not, when often times it’s not the case. Because you feel at the time, I understand the feeling, just take everything away so that this won’t come back, but that’s not exactly how it works.
There was a, well, the decision was to get the tumour out right away and then see later if there was going to be more surgeries. But at that point if you have clean margins and the surgery was successful and you can manage how it looks afterwards then to go on with more surgery, you really have to weigh that out, right. Surgery and reconstruction, the reconstructive surgeries, from my understanding, from people who have had them, they’re very… it’s quite invasive. It has to be weighed pretty carefully.
Oh, if there’s a recurrence, I think I’ll just sort of listen to multiple opinions about it but I think (…) I think the one advantage to the double mastectomy approach, is kind of eliminating mammograms and that kind of thing in the future. But you still need to be followed up because you can still get a recurrence on a scar. You can, breast cancer’s sneaky, and that’s the theme I’m coming back to. You’re never sure fire approach, right. If there’s a recurrence, I would take that decision at the time given the full knowledge of the situation.
Interviewer: How do you feel about the results of the partial mastectomy?
Pretty good, really good. A good surgeon makes a big difference I think. I would tell people to really scout out their surgeon before even a breast conserving surgery because the placement of the scar can be camouflaged and it’s a good surgeon can do some remarkable things and it’s quite amazing.
*BRCA1 gene: Mutated gene that can increase the carriers chances of having breast cancer.