My name is Melissa and I’m 29 years old. I was diagnosed December 12, 2015 with triple negative breast cancer. I tested negative for the gene mutation and I have no family history of breast cancer.

I’ve decided to have a double mastectomy just because it’s one less stress I need to be worried about after completing treatment.

I have really dense breasts to begin with and I’ve always been prone to cysts. Any slight lump or anything suspicious on the other breast (good breast) would be very worrisome for me especially now after being diagnosed with breast cancer at such a young age. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be less stressed because I’ll always be worried about reoccurrence.

Removing the cancerous breast means the other breast will never look the same after reconstructive surgery. Being able to do reconstructive surgery can really boost my self esteem in the sense that they look the same at the end. I’m very aware that having the double mastectomy can have its side effects, like infections, scarring numbness in the chest, etc. However what I’m going through right now with chemo and later radiation all have their own side effects. These are the measures we need to take to get better.

I believe the decisions some of us make to have a double mastectomy helps us slightly heal mentally. In our mind, it becomes one less place in our body we need to worry about getting cancer.

To read the full Washington Post article click here.

Do you have to make a difficult choice about breast cancer treatment? Check our our Care Guidelines for Young Women with Breast Cancer.

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