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Posted on Apr 19, 2022

Does Preventive Mastectomy Really Work?

Prophylactic mastectomy can reduce the chances of developing breast cancer in women at major risk of the disease: It is a surgery to remove one or both breasts to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

As per the National Cancer Institute, prophylactic mastectomy in women who carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by 95%. Few women at very high risk of developing breast cancer elect to have both breasts surgically removed, a procedure known as bilateral prophylactic mastectomy or preventive mastectomy. The surgery aims to remove all breast tissue that potentially could develop breast cancer. There is a very small chance that residual breast tissue or cancer cells could recur on the chest wall. Note that  having a mastectomy or bilateral mastectomy does not reduce your risk of developing a cancer recurrence elsewhere in your body. A preventive (prophylactic) or risk less mastectomy involves removing both of your breasts and significantly reduces your risk of developing breast cancer in the future. A prophylactic mastectomy is reserved for those with a very high and major risk of breast cancer, which is determined by a strong family background of breast cancer or the presence of certain genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer.