As you will know a Mastectomy is a surgical procedure which removes breast tissue and is performed as a treatment for breast cancer, to excise the cancerous tissue from the body so that it can no longer spread. Some breast cancer patients or those who are highly genetically disposed to breast cancer are sometimes advised to have a double Mastectomy to prevent cancer in one or both breasts. A concern many women have is can a double mastectomy really prevent Cancer?

Can a Double Mastectomy Really Prevent Cancer?

Patients with the BRCA gene mutation are informed by their doctors that they have a high risk of developing breast cancer in one or more breasts, backed up by studies that claim there is a 57% to 86% of breast cancer in women with the BRCA gene mutation. In these cases a doctor may recommend removal of both breasts before cancer is identified, and is considered to be the safest preventative treatment currently available. This is called Prophylactic Mastectomy. Of course it is an elective surgery and up to the individual to decide if they would like to proceed with the double Mastectomy as a preventative measure.

Another option given to women with the BRCA gene mutation is Anti-hormone treatment which can also be effective with a reduction in cases of breast cancer reduced by 50% to 70%. However, 955 of cases where a double mastectomy is performed result in not contraction of breast cancer, so the surgical route has a higher success rate.

What Results to Expect from a Double Mastectomy

A reasonable concern of a patient deciding on whether to choose a double Mastectomy is what their breasts will look like after surgery. Photographs of scarred nipple less breasts on the internet are enough to scare any patient away from this option. However, a small number of Mastectomy specialists, roughly 5% of the private breast centers, carry out nipple sparing and skin sparing Mastectomy procedures which when coupled with breast implants can result in natural looking breasts with very minimal and hidden scarring.

The general way to perform a Mastectomy is to remove the nipple and a portion of the breast skin leaving a scar across the breast and lack of nipple. In nipple sparing procedures the incision is made under the fold of the breast, similar to a breast implant incision, with the breast tissue removed only through this incision. The nipple and breast skin is left intact ready for a breast augmentation surgery at that time or a later date to fill the breast area again, and leave it aesthetically intact.

Obviously if breast cancer is already present in the nipple then the nipple will likely have to be removed during the surgery, but if not yet present then in 95% of cases the surgery can leave nipples and breast skin intact.

The benefits of this method are obvious as they preserve the look of the breasts allowing the patient to enjoy enhanced self-image post surgery.