Should You Have a Mastectomy to Prevent Breast Cancer?
Modern women always have a fear of breast cancer. Whilst average woman has around 12% risk of getting affected with breast cancer, others have 85% chance of getting their life troubled with this menace. For women with high risk of breast cancer, fear is very much real, and most of them look to ways for lowering its risk.
An option, which some high-risk women considers for treating breast cancer, is prophylactic or preventive mastectomy. You may consider it, if you:
1-Are having cancers in one of your breasts and looking forward to remove the healthy breast for avoiding it to get affected too.
2-Are at high risk of breast cancer and looking forward to remove both breasts before it develops to advance and untreatable stage.
Mastectomy is a surgical procedure done for removing nearly all the tissues of your breast, where cancer may grow. This is, in no mean, a guarantee that you will not have breast cancer, as it’s impossible for taking out every bit of the tissue. However, experts have estimated that mastectomy can reduce the risk by almost 90%.
Some women find losing their breast for reducing risks of cancer to be beneficial. However, their choice cannot be clear cut. Various factors, which include women’s personal risk and their own feelings on the same, can affect the application of Mastectomy on their breasts.
Who Can Opt For Preventive Mastectomy?
You should opt for preventive mastectomy, if you know that you’re at high risk of breast cancer. You might be at high risks if:
1-You are sure that you have BRCA (breast cancer) gene change. You can find about BRCA by having a gene testing. Gene testing is generally done on women having a history of ovarian or/and breast cancer in their family.
2-You are having a history of breast cancers in your family. If any (or more than one) of your close family member (mother or sister) had breast cancer before, you are said to have a strong history. Risks are also considered high, if you are having both ovarian and breast cancer on any side of your family.
3-You are already having cancers in your breast. This means that there is a possibility of getting it on the other breast.
4-You have already been diagnosed with LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in Situ). LCIS means that you are having abnormal cells in lobules (milk glands) of your breast. Experts classify it to be a pre-cancer or stage ‘0’ cancer. It might be increasing your risks of breast cancer. However, figures suggest that most women, who have been diagnosed with LCIS, do not get breast cancer.
5-Your chest has been exposed to radiation therapy before you were 30.
How Can I Make A Decision On Preventive Mastectomy?
Decision for having mastectomy to prevent cancer is a very personal one. To make the decision easy and right, it might help if you:
1-Consult your doctor or genetic counselors for getting a better idea of the risk involved.
2-Give consideration to your feelings. Some of us cannot imagine the thought of giving up our breasts, whereas others feel greater peace of mind covers up the loss.
3-Discuss this decision with the one, who are close to you. Suggestions from them can go a long way in helping you to decide.
However, you should always remember that it’s your body and it will always be your decision.