Who should have preventative breast cancer surgery?

Some patients choose preventative breast surgery because of carrying a gene or gene mutation for cancer. In this video, Cathy Cole, a nurse navigator with Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center, says this is still a complex personal decision. 
Dennis L. Citrin, MD
Hematology & Oncology

In general, a woman should consider undergoing preventive breast surgery, and discuss it with her physician, if she is at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.  For example, a woman who carries the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation may want to consider preventive breast cancer surgery, because she is at an increased risk for developing breast cancer.  Studies show that eight of 10 women with these mutations will develop breast cancer, compared to only one in 10 women in the general population.  Also, a woman who has received prior radiation treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma may also want to consider preventive surgery,  as her lifetime risk for developing breast cancer is significantly increased. 

Jesse L. Dirksen, MD
Surgery
It may seem shocking for a woman without breast cancer to have a double mastectomy -- but there are times when such a drastic move may make sense. In this video, Dr. Jesse Dirksen discusses the genetic mutations that can place a woman at very high risk of breast cancer and the pros and cons of preventive surgery.

Continue Learning about Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer Prevention

Whether you have family history of breast cancer or not, you can take steps to prevent this common cancer in women. Some risk factors are lifestyle-related, while others are tied to genetics. Exercising and eating healthy are a st...

art, as well as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol. Your primary care provider can help assess your breast cancer risk; regular breast screenings and exams can catch cancer early. Women with increased risk for breast cancer, who carry BRCA genes for example, can consider risk-reducing surgery with their doctor. Learn more about preventing breast cancer and how to identify signs of cancer with our expert advice.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.