If I Have the Breast Cancer Genes, Is a Prophylactic Mastectomy Recommended?

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Having what we now call risk reducing mastectomy is commonly done or offered I should say for women who have BRCA Mutation there are multiple mitigating factors such as overall health, etc that can factor into any individual woman's decision making. We also know though now that with watchful waiting, meaning mammogram, emolize etc there is high likely hood for women choose not to have have risk-reducing surgery, that we can watch them closely with fairly high likelihood that if they developed cancer we can pick it up early.

The problem is as I tell my patients, unfortunately early detection is a goal, not a guarantee. So while doing the surgery is of course associated with a lot of downsides such as clearly losing the breasts. For a woman and her child bearing ages, inability to breastfeed in the future, loss of sensation even when a nipple's pairing approaches use, there's usually loss of sensation associated with the nipple so, it is a very substantial procedure to undergo.

The flip side of watching and waiting really doesn't have much re-insurance in terms of making sure that there is no mortality associated developing breast cancer. [MUSIC].