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Saturday, 24.03.2018, 05:08
Main » Mammology » Prophylactic mastectomy for breast cancer 
Prophylactic mastectomy for breast cancer

Prophylactic mastectomy for breast cancer

In the past, surgery for breast cancer meant the complete removal of the body, no matter what the size of the tumor. For a long surgery - is the standard treatment for breast cancer. But in the last few years this situation has changed. Currently, we have the results of numerous long-term studies that show that the radical mastectomy has no special advantages over organ interventions. We know, for example, that if a woman has breast cancer, not larger than 4 cm, then the simple removal of the tumor along with some amount of healthy tissue (the so-called lumpectomy with clear margins), followed by a course of radiation therapy is as effective as and mastectomy.

The importance of prophylactic (preventive) mastectomy

If a woman with breast cancer, the risk of her new breast cancer is higher than that which has never suffered from cancer. The degree of this risk, each woman will be different because of differences in many factors that affect it. On average, the risk of new cancers (non-recurrence of cancer) in the other breast is about 1% per year. This means that in ten years, the risk of new cancers will increase to 10%. In other words, if you take 100 women. Have had in the past, breast cancer, then ten of them in 10 years may be a different breast cancer.

The risk of new breast cancer is higher in women with additional risk factors. For example, if you have had in the past, breast cancer in your family as there were cases of breast cancer (in other words, the face of family history), then the risk will increase each year has more than 1%.

In the case of a reliable detection of genetic anomalies you, this risk is even higher. The combination of family history and the presence of genetic anomalies in the risk of developing cancer in other breast increases. In this case, this risk will vary from 2 to 5% per year, which depends on all of these factors, as well as how to behave abnormal genes. In other words, after 10 years your risk of cancer in the other breast may already be from 20 to 50%.

So, if you are in the past suffered breast cancer and in addition you have other risk factors, the question is how to reduce this risk is very important to you. You can seriously think about additional measures of prevention of cancer, including lifestyle changes, taking certain medications, and surgery.

Prophylactic (preventive) surgery to reduce the risk of new breast cancer - a serious step, which has both its advantages and disadvantages. Despite the fact that the removal of breast cancer significantly reduces the risk of new cancer preventive measure, this leads to certain permanent changes in the quality of your life. The higher your risk of developing cancer, the more likely the effect of a preventive mastectomy.

Such an operation may reduce the risk of cancer in almost 90%! This is a very significant figure. If you have a cancer risk of 80%, after such an operation, he will be only 8%. If the risk was 10% - a preventive mastectomy reduces it to 1%.

Earlier studies have shown that women with a family history and other important risk factors for breast cancer preventive operation (known as contralateral mastectomy) reduces their risk of new tumors and improve survival. However, none of these studies have not revealed how much had been satisfied with their choice of women.

In this study, researchers here set out to find out how satisfied were women who chose preventive surgery.

In this study, a physician interviewed 772 women who chose preventive mastectomy and 105 women who choose other preventive measures. The age range of patients surveyed was 18 to 80 years. The study involved women whose cancer was diagnosed one breast from 1979 to 1999.

To achieve this goal, researchers figured out women the following parameters: quality of life, satisfaction with surgery, body shape, sexual satisfaction, depression, anxiety about a possible cancer, the general perception of health.

Of the women surveyed answered 73%, ie 519 women who underwent preventive mastectomy and 60 women who had not been carried out the operation. Among the 60 patients in 30 was made in the past, mastectomy, while 30 - lumpectomy.

Results of the study

Of the 519 women who underwent preventive surgery, 86.5% were satisfied with this procedure, and 76% were very satisfied with the quality of life.
Similarly, among the 60 women who were not carried out a preventive mastectomy, 75% were also satisfied with the quality of life.
In addition, the results showed that 75% of women, of whom was not carried out a preventive mastectomy, had some concern about the possibility of new cancer, compared with 50% among those who underwent this operation.


The researchers concluded that most women who underwent preventive mastectomy were satisfied with their choice and are pleased with the quality of life. These women are less experienced anxiety about the possibility of cancer in the future.

Among the reasons for the decline of quality of life in women after preventive mastectomy marked deterioration in body shape dissatisfaction with sex life, depression and lowered self-esteem.

To sum up, we can give the main points of this study: If you have had surgery for breast cancer and are thinking about preventive (prophylactic) mastectomy, the other breast, then regardless of your decision, you are in any case will be satisfied with our choice. About 75% of all women in each group studied were satisfied with the quality of life. In this case, a suitable well-known saying, "that is done, all the better."

Of course, preventive (prophylactic) mastectomy - not a panacea and certainly not an ideal solution to the problem of cancer. It has its drawbacks.

The following risk factors are usually the indicators to ensure that preventive tempted to remove the other breast cancer:
  • Severe family history (cases of breast cancer in the family)
  • Severe cancer in one breast,
  • Strong concern about possible cancer in the future,
  • Doubts about the possibility of early diagnosis of breast cancer
  • Reluctance to undergo more treatment Cancer.

In addition, it is worth remembering that even surgery can not give an absolute guarantee against the possibility of developing cancer in the future. Pak may occur even where the mammary gland was removed.

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