Our whole life completely turns around when any family member has any major illness.
As an oncologist I see many women go through breast cancer treatment.
With this disturbing diagnosis of big “C” every family member is shaken and gets emotional.
Many a times, oncologist explains that doing breast conserving surgery ( retaining breasts and only removing tumour) is as safe as mastectomy ( complete breast removal surgery) for the patient.
This advice by oncologist is based on scientific evidence of trials with almost 20 years follow up of several thousand patients who underwent either breast removing or breast saving surgeries.
But family members are sometimes high on emotions and take self decision that breast removal surgery should be done to ensure maximum safety. Often woman who is actually the patient is not asked her choice.
In one such extreme case one lady in her 60’s had one sided early breast cancer but her son decided that he wants mastectomy for both sides for his mother( without genetic testing ) as he was concerned about his mother’ safety. Treating oncologists tried very hard to reasons out with him that breast removal surgery of normal breast is not required. Patient’s son did not agree and signed and made her mother also sign consent for mastectomy on both the sides.
Many of us watched this helpless situation with teary eyes.
I understand that cancer diagnosis comes as a shock.
Still let’ s make decisions with head on our shoulders and more importantly let the woman in discussion be a part of discussion and decision.
Her choice matters!