A preventive mastectomy or prophylactic mastectomy is an elective operation to remove the breasts so that the risk of breast cancer is reduced. The procedure is a surgical option for individuals who are at high risk for the development of breast cancer. Women who had a bilateral mastectomy in were about 10 years younger than those who had a unilateral mastectomy.
What are the cancer risk reduction options for women who are at increased risk of breast cancer but not at the highest risk? Two kinds of surgery can be performed to reduce the risk of breast cancer in a woman who has never been diagnosed with breast cancer but is known to be at very high risk of the disease. The most common risk-reducing surgery is bilateral prophylactic mastectomy also called bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy.
Choosing that operation must have been an extraordinarily difficult decision. Going public with it must have been equally difficult. Telling her story may help other women learn more about the genes that underlie some—but not all—breast cancers and the tests available for them.
Prophylactic mastectomy may reduce your risk of breast cancer. Learn how doctors assess breast cancer risk and how prophylactic mastectomy may help prevent breast cancer. One such question is whether to have preventive mastectomy prophylactic mastectomy — surgery to remove one or both breasts in hopes of preventing or reducing your risk of breast cancer.
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Studies suggest that risk-reducing mastectomy may reduce the risk of breast cancer by at least 90 percent. Breast tissue is mostly made up of fat tissue, connective tissue, and glandular tissue, which produces milk. Breast cancers may develop in the glandular tissue, specifically in the milk ducts and the milk lobules.
Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy lowers the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk by at least 90 percent . However, it doesn't completely protect a woman from breast cancer [ ]. A mastectomy isn't able to remove all of a woman's breast tissue.
For some women who have a very high risk of breast cancer, preventive surgery to remove the breasts prophylactic mastectomy may be an option to lower their risk. Like any type of surgery, a mastectomy can have risks and side effects, some of which could affect your quality of life. Because of this, preventive surgery is not usually a good option for women who are at average risk of breast cancer, or for those who are at only slightly increased risk. For women who are known or strongly suspected to have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, a prophylactic oophorectomy removal of the ovaries might be recommended as well.
The high incidence and recurrence rate of breast cancer has influenced multiple strategies such as early detection with imaging, chemoprevention and surgical interventions that serve as preventive measures for women at high risk. Prophylactic mastectomy is one of the growing strategies of breast cancer risk reduction that is of a special importance for breast cancer gene mutation carriers. Women with personal history of cancerous breast lesions may consider ipsilateral or contralateral mastectomy as well.
So when Sands asked, her mom told the 4-year-old exactly where they were going: to see a doctor about a lump her mother had found in her breast. Five years later, her mother died of breast cancer at the age of 43, when Sands was 9 years old. She went into remission but later died of ovarian cancer. Then a cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer at