Is a Preventive Mastectomy the Right Choice For You?

Does having cancer in one breast increase the risk of cancer occurring in the other, healthy breast?

Young women with breast cancer often respond with a “yes” and overestimate the need to have the healthy breast surgically removed, according to a recent study by Dana-Farber investigators. However, the actual risk of cancer occurring in the healthy breast of those women without a genetic predisposition to breast cancer is only two to four percent.

Dr. Ann Partridge

Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber

Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, the study’s senior author and director of the Institute’s Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer, and Shoshana Rosenberg, ScD, MPH, lead author, both of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber, found a disconnect between what many patients know – that undergoing a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM, to remove a healthy breast has little impact on survival rates for most women – and the choices they make after receiving the anxiety-inducing diagnosis of breast cancer.

Watch as Partridge explains the study’s results, and the pros and cons of CPM:

Make An Appointment

For adults: 877-960-1562

Quick access: Appointments as soon as the next day for new adult patients

For children: 888-733-4662

Latest Tweets

Dana-Farber @danafarber
Planning to get outside this weekend? Keep your skin safe and help protect yourself from skin cancer with these six… https://t.co/1iZpCNsA5x
Dana-Farber @danafarber
How does #cancer start? In general, how is it treated? Here's what you need to know: https://t.co/qx9nCPKraA https://t.co/EQbHVW2Nu5
Dana-Farber @danafarber
Two years after being given six months to live, Michael Mullan’s cancer is still at bay because of #immunotherapy a… https://t.co/uLwLoJbywq

Patient and Family Blogs

Patients and families of patients at Dana-Farber often chronicle their own experiences with cancer.

Here are some blogs that you can follow.