Why Are Some Women Opting For Total Mastectomy As Breast Cancer Prevention?

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If you watch the hit TV show on Bravo, Married to Medicine, you should be all too familiar with the newest cast member to the show, Dr. Contessa Metcalfe. In a recent episode, the black occupational and preventive medicine doctor openly shared her journey to preventing breast cancer as her mother passed away from the disease and her father is currently battling prostate cancer. Knowing that breast cancer runs deep within her family, she opted to undergo the elective surgery of a double (total) mastectomy.

As never being diagnosed with breast cancer herself, it seems a bit drastic, but there are real pros to this prevention method. According to Cancer.gov, read why this underused option may be worth it after all:

There are two surgical options.

Technically, there are two kinds of surgeries that can be performed to reduce the risk of breast cancer in a woman who has never been diagnosed with breast cancer but is known to be at very high risk of the disease.

1. The most common risk-reducing surgery is bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (also called bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy). Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy may involve complete removal of both breasts, including the nipples (total mastectomy), or it may involve removal of as much breast tissue as possible while leaving the nipples intact (subcutaneous or nipple-sparing mastectomy).

Subcutaneous mastectomies preserve the nipple

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