More Women are Taking Health into Their Own Hands and Opting forProphylactic Mastectomies.
Breast cancer affects millions of women with one in eight being diagnosed with the disease at some point in life. Women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer are at an even higher risk for developing the disease. While there are tests that can test a woman for the genetic mutation that ups the risk factor for breast cancer, more and more women are taking their breast cancer prevention a step further by choosing to undergo prophylactic mastectomy surgery. Prophylactic mastectomy procedures have risen by 50 percent in the past ten years, and while the procedure is a great option for some, women shouldn’t rush into the surgery.
Breast Cancer Prevention
Breast cancer affects such a large number of women and a lot of breast cancer research focuses on important breast cancer prevention. Women who have a genetic breast cancer hereditary risk are being given more options now and the most drastic but seemingly successful method is the prophylactic mastectomy or preventative mastectomy. A double mastectomy involves the entire removal of the breasts and nipples and is a common breast cancer treatment.
Though mastectomies are often highly successful there is still a risk for breast cancer to return if a woman developed the disease at all. Women opting to undergo prophylactic or preventative mastectomies are hoping to remove their risk entirely. Women who were at a heightened risk of developing breast cancer before undergoing a prophylactic mastectomy are placed at lower risk for developing the disease after the surgery.
Causes of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer develops when cells in breast tissue begin growing abnormally. Women who choose to undergo prophylactic mastectomies hope that by removing breast tissue entirely, they’re removing the risk that their breast tissue cells could begin to grow abnormally and develop into breast cancer. Women who have a very high risk of developing breast cancer due to breast cancer hereditary or because they possess the breast cancer genetic mutation are generally good candidates for prophylactic mastectomies, and the procedure is often recommended by physicians. Health insurance companies often cover prophylactic or preventative mastectomies because the cost of the preventative surgery is far less than the cost of a breast cancer treatment plan if a patient develops the disease.
While many women are opting to undergo prophylactic mastectomies, the procedure isn’t for everyone. While preventative mastectomies are a good option for women with high risks of developing breast cancer, women with normal or below normal risk should really weight the pros and cons of the procedure before undergoing the major surgery. While many women would rather have the peace of mind and undergo a prophylactic mastectomy, the procedure is a major one and takes a lot of recovery time.
Also, women who choose to undergo preventative mastectomies don’t fully weigh the mental ramifications that can come along with altering their bodies as a preventative measure. If you’re at a heightened risk for developing breast cancer a preventative mastectomy can deliver you and your family precious peace of mind, but women not at higher risk should just proceed with caution and discuss options with their doctor and family at length.