Why would I have a mastectomy?

A mastectomy serves to remove a cancerous breast. Some women have multiple cancers in the breast, so a mastectomy is necessary to remove all the cancer. Other women have large cancers in small breasts, so a mastectomy is necessary for removal of the cancer. For these women, neoadjuvant chemotherapy can sometimes shrink the cancer and allow them to have breast conservation. Some women choose to have prophylactic mastectomy, or remove a healthy breast prior to developing a breast cancer. These women usually have genetic mutations putting them at increased lifetime risk of breast cancer. Finally, women who cannot undergo radiation after lumpectomy (due to prior radiation, connective tissue disorder, or pregnancy) often elect to have mastectomy. 

Continue Learning about Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast Cancer Treatment

After a breast cancer diagnosis, there are many decisions to make. A multidisciplinary team of doctors and specialists can help get a treatment plan started and you can choose a treatment facility. In the past, breast cancer treat...

ment involved a radical mastectomy, but today procedures are less invasive. Treatment will depend on the stage of breast cancer. It may include surgery, such as lumpectomy, radiation or chemotherapy to shrink and kill cancer cells. Learn more about breast cancer treatment options with expert advice from Sharecare.

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.