Back when I had my mastectomy, I opted not to have the other breast removed as well. I felt that it was healthy, and I just couldn't face any more surgery (read mutilation) than I had to have.
In addition, I figured it didn't make much difference because even if you had a
prophylactic mastectomy, it wasn't a guarantee that it wasn't going to come back.
When I moved to Ohio, my new oncologist asked me about it as he thought it would be a good idea. I responded that it wasn't fool-proof, so what was the point.
Now, I wonder if I should. Of course, I am not BRCA1 or BRCA2 positive, I have yearly mammograms and P.E.T. scans. I think that somehow I felt that leaving the remaining breast was like a "cancer catcher", that is, instead of attacking my brain, lung, bone or liver, it would go after the breast (this is not true, for instance, my recurrence included mets to the bone, but the right breast wasn't affected...just the left, but it was my magical thinking after having been diagnosed the second time).
I guess that reducing a second primary to the opposite breast by as much as 93% would be a good idea, even if the remaining breast tissue on the chest wall or in the nodes was still at risk of developing cancer.
I don't relish another surgery. I suppose, I should think more about this after having my yearly scan and hopefully ruling out any involvement with the pelvis which is still giving me problems.
I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on this as I'm completely on the fence. Some of my friends have had bi-lateral prophylactic mastectomies...I think at present, I'm just chicken and that's OK.