Prophylactic Mastectomy

John Han-Chih Chang, MD and Kenneth Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

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Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I do not as yet, have breast cancer, however, I have so many signs and symptoms I am looking for information to help me decide if I should have a mastectomy before cancer develops. Please Help!!!

I can't find much at all to aid me in this decision.

Ken Blank, MD, and John Han-Chih Chang, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistants, reply:

Thank you for your question.

The most important thing to do at this point is to see your physician to have your signs and symptoms evaluated. Mastectomies are not usually done without an indication, such as a diagnosis of cancer, premalignant condition, or rarely if a patient has a strong family history or other genetic predisposition. Again consult your physician for a full evaluation. Please also access the following sites on breast cancer for further information:

Fast Facts About Breast Cancer
Early Detection
Breast Health and Breast Cancer Network

These are some of a few good sites to access breast cancer information. Focus on screening and diagnosis at these sites first, because that is where you need to direct your questions and concerns.

Predictors of Contralateral Breast Cancer Identified

Feb 28, 2015 - In unilateral breast cancer patients, evaluating five-year Gail risk and histologic findings in the ipsilateral breast may predict the risk of developing cancer in the other breast and help clinicians decide whether or not to perform a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, according to an article published online Jan. 26 in Cancer.

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