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Breast Removal Slashes Risk of Cancer in High-Risk Women

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Hartmann says that almost all women undergoing the procedure opt to have reconstructive surgery involving breast implants at the same time.

Although Hartmann says she doesn't know the cost of preventive mastectomy, she says the women are typically hospitalized for five days. She says, too, that insurance companies had originally balked at paying for the procedure, claiming it was an unproven or experimental procedure. With the publication of the earlier study from the Mayo Clinic that found prophylactic mastectomy yielded a 90% reduction in risk for women with strong family histories, insurers are now agreeing to pay for the procedure, she says. "The insurers recognize that it is expensive, but not as expensive as treatment for breast cancer."

 

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