Breast cancer is a killer disease that every woman in the world is at risk of developing. Doctors and scientists have been battling this disease for so many years now, but they still can’t put an end to it. However, they have come a long way in treating and preventing the disease. Some women have a higher risk of catching the disease, which is why it is incredibly important to have check-ups with your doctor to assess the level of treat breast cancer poses on you. There are a number of precautions you can take to prevent breast cancer, and if you are one of the unfortunate women to be at a high risk of developing the disease, there are surgeries you can undergo that may save your life. One of the major surgeries we wish to talk about, is Preventative Mastectomy, also referred to as Prophylactic Mastectomy. This is an operation that involves the removal of both breasts, and is an option for women diagnosed to be at a higher risk of developing breast cancer.
How would a woman go about making an informed decision about having a Preventative Mastectomy? Breasts for a woman signifies their femininity, associates them with motherhood, it would understandably be as difficult a decision to make as deciding whether or not to have your arms amputated. However, if it is a surgery that will prevent you from having to go through all the pain that breast cancer brings with it, and ultimately saves your life, could you go through with it? This surgery is mainly an option for women who have been tested to be at a high risk of developing breast cancer.
How would you know if you are in danger of developing breast cancer? How will you know if you have to make that all important decision whether to have or not to have a Preventative Mastectomy, the removal of both your breasts? There are a few factors that determine if you are at risk.
If you naturally have dense tissue breasts, this is going to make it more difficult for doctors to diagnose if you have cancer, because dense breast tissue is one of the signs of cancer developing. This is more significant if you have a history of breast cancer in your family. Either way, an immediate consultation with your doctor is warranted.
Your family history plays an important role in determining your chances of getting breast cancer. If any of the women in your family have had breast cancer, then you are at risk. If more than one member of your family has had breast cancer, then you are at an even greater risk. Just like the saying goes, it’s in the genes. This is not always the case, but it would be advisable to go for genetic testing, to make certain you are not carrying any mutated genes, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2, that can result in you being at a greater risk of developing the disease.
There is a condition called lobular carcinoma in situ, LCIS for short, which is the forming of abnormal cells in the glands that produce milk. This is a cautionary sign that you may be at high risk of getting cancer later in your life. Also, if you have ever had any radiation therapy in the chest area, you have been put at risk. Unless it is highly necessary, stay away from any radiation.
The final factor, which will play the most important role in you making an informed decision about having a Preventative Mastectomy, would be if have already been diagnosed with cancer in one breast. Should you play it safe and have both breasts removed, even though the other one is cancer free? Get a second opinion.
This surgery will probably be the most important decision of your life, but it is not necessary for you to make any rash decisions. There are a number of breast cancer specialists out there who will be able to offer you professional advice. Speak to genetics experts to get a better understanding of your situation. You can even explore the idea of breast implants should you decide to go ahead with the Preventative Mastectomy. Find out more, go speak to surgeons who specialize in this field. No matter what decisions you make, just remember that you don’t have to go about it on your own.