A preventive or prophylactic mastectomy is surgery to remove one or both breasts to prevent or lower your risk of breast cancer. It is most often done in women who have a very high risk of developing breast cancer. Studies have shown that preventive/prophylactic mastectomy can significantly lower the chances of breast cancer development in women at moderate to high risk of the disease. There are different types of mastectomy. A total mastectomy, in which the breast and nipple are removed, provides the best protection against breast cancer. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about preventive/prophylactic mastectomy, from how and why it's done to what you should ask your doctor if you are considering the procedure, and much more.
Preventative double mastectomy (also called prophylactic double mastectomy) is surgery to remove both breasts to try to prevent breast cancer. Who gets a prophylactic mastectomy, why, and what are the risks and benefits? Read about the reasons some women consider this surgery to prevent breast cancer before it starts.