Mastectomy: Is It Right For You?

Mastectomy has proven to be an effective treatment for breast cancer. Your doctor may recommend mastectomy for you during the early or late breast cancer stages depending on your overall health and a number of other factors. Your doctor may also suggest mastectomy for you over other types of breast cancer treatments, such as lumpectomy surgery or radiation therapy, if:

  • You're pregnant, and radiation will pose risks to the health of your unborn baby
  • You have more than one tumor in different areas in your breast
  • You have a family history of breast cancer
  • You carry a gene mutation that puts you at a high risk of developing another breast cancer

You may also opt mastectomy if:

  • Your tumor is large compared to the size of your breast. You many not have sufficient amount of healthy tissue left after lumpectomy to produce desirable cosmetic results.
  • You have a history of connective tissue disease, and are highly intolerable to the side effects of radiation.
  • You have a tumor under the nipple, making it hard to preserve the nipple and surrounding tissues.
  • You live too far away from a radiation treatment facility, making it too hard for you to travel daily to receive the treatment.

You may also choose to undergo mastectomy if you're vulnerable to developing breast cancer or are showing signs of breast cancer, but don't have a confirmed diagnosis yet. However you can undergo the risk-reducing mastectomy, a procedure that removes one or both breasts to prevent or lower your chances of breast cancer in the future. Reading about the different types of mastectomies will help you understand the range of treatments available.

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