Are you at a high risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime? If so, a double mastectomy may be a viable option for you to consider as a preventive measure.
A mastectomy is surgery to remove the entire breast, including the skin and nipple.
Whether you would make a good candidate for this surgery is up to your surgeon; however, Gretchen Todd CNP, a nurse practitioner in TriHealth’s high-risk breast program, says if you have the following characteristics, you may benefit from having a double mastectomy, if you fall into the high-risk category:
- You are younger (in the 35 to 50 age range).
- You are generally healthy, without any co-existing medical conditions.
- You have a high risk score (50 or 60 percent).
How Effective is a Double Mastectomy in Preventing Breast Cancer?
Gretchen reminds women that while a double mastectomy can bring your risk down significantly, there is still always a chance that you may develop breast cancer down the road. “This isn’t taking you down to zero risk, and for most people, it still keeps them above what the general population may be,” she explains. “It’s pretty radical surgery. It’s absolutely an option, however. It gives a lot of people peace of mind to bring their risk down significantly, but there’s always that chance.”
During the past couple years, several celebrities, like Angelina Jolie, Sharon Osbourne, Kathy Bates and Giuliana Rancic, have had double mastectomies, which has shed light on this this procedure, and its potential benefits for high-risk women.