How Women Can Prevent Breast Cancer With Mastectomies
Women with two common breast cancer genes have a sharply reduced risk of the disease if they have preventive mastectomies, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
And removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes in women with those genes can also reduce the risk of not only ovarian cancer, but also breast cancer, according to the article.
The two genes, BRCA1 and RCA2, are linked to a greatly increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Women with either gene have a 56 percent to 84 percent risk over their lifetime of developing breast cancer, while women with BRCA1 have a 36 percent to 63 percent of developing ovarian cancer. Those with BRCA2 have a 10 percent to 27 percent risk of ovarian cancer. Through genetic testing, doctors can determine whether a woman has inherited the gene.
This paper reminds us that genetic testing can save lives, Dr. Kenneth Office of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told the Los Angeles Times.
Although prophylactic mastectomy was once considered a radical step, many physicians now see it as an option once a woman has been diagnosed with either gene. And most specialists recommend removing the ovaries and the fallopian tubes a procedure known as a bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy once a patient has finished having children.