Preventive Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction
Most people who develop breast cancer have no family history of the disease. However, when a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer is present, there may be reason to believe that a person has inherited an abnormal gene linked to higher breast cancer. Some people choose to undergo genetic testing to find out.
If you test positive for an abnormal breast cancer gene, and you have never had breast cancer, you now know that you are at much higher-than-average risk of developing it over the course of your lifetime. For women, the risk of getting breast cancer in your lifetime if you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 abnormality is between about 40% and 85% about 3 to 7 times greater than that of a woman who does not have the mutation.
Preventive or 'prophylactic' mastectomy, or removal of both breasts, has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women by about 90%. After a diagnosis of one breast cancer in a woman with a genetic abnormality, the risk of her getting a new breast cancer is approximately 3% every year (for example, 15% over 5 years). Without BRCA1 or BRCA2, the risk of developing a new breast cancer after one episode of breast cancer is only 1% per year. For details please see breastcancer.org
If you wish to have a preventive mastectomy we can do this operation together with an immediate reconstruction either with implants or with body's own (autologous) tissue. As we treat many affected patients we can offer you a broad surgical experience in these bilateral breast surgeries.
For anyone considering reconstructive surgery our team provides experienced, professional and independent advice, including full discussion as to suitability, outcomes and recovery times. Should you be interested in a reconstructive breast operation, you are welcome to arrange a personal consultation with us.