I must preface this by saying it is not now nor is it ever my intention to influence any woman's decision when it comes to her body. No one knows how they will react when given a breast cancer diagnosis. Trust me, words cannot fully describe what goes through a woman's mind at that very moment.
For me, the choice to have a double mastectomy at a very young age became increasingly clear when I was given a definitive diagnosis of breast cancer in one breast and told I needed as much as seven additional biopsies in the other. Being an A cup, seven biopsies would have left me fairly disfigured, based on my experience with just one previous biopsy in the other breast, and with very little remaining breast tissue anyway. Additionally, I would have worried myself even sicker over what may or may not have developed into an issue down the line.
Again, everyone makes different choices for different reasons. I completely respect women who opt for lumpectomies. In my case, mastectomy was the only option for my one breast but the double mastectomy was a choice. Women make that choice for many reasons -- safety, peace of mind, many physicians say there is a better aesthetic result when done together, and so on. Whatever the reason, it is still a woman's right to make that choice!
There has been a lot of hype in the news recently about an increase in double mastectomies and physicians questioning this practice. The only reason I feel the need to speak on this now is because it is neither the physicians' nor the insurance companies' place to be so outspoken on this topic. If this is the path women choose to take and it is saving their lives, no one has the right to second-guess it. We already know patients are having positive outcomes and there is a decrease in mortality rates so, perhaps, we need to examine the cost per patient under different treatment modalities and see how that impacts those making the complaints.
In short, ladies, do what is best for you and don't let anyone, including me, take you off course. You have enough to think about when you find out you have breast cancer and it can be easy to get lost in the haze. A part of you may even want someone else to take over and make the big decisions for a while because you are so overwhelmed but, remember, this is your body and it is your cancer. Take control and make whatever decision empowers you to fight it with everything you've got!