and 45 to 47 percent for women who carry a deleterious mutation in the BRCA2 gene. Estimates of the lifetime risk of breast cancer for women with Cowden syndrome, which is caused by certain mutations in the PTEN gene, range from 25 to 50 percent or higher, and for women with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, which is caused by certain mutations in the TP53 gene, from 49 to 60 percent. (By contrast, the lifetime risk of breast cancer for the average American woman is about 12 percent.)
Those with a strong family history of breast cancer (such as having a mother, sister, and/or daughter who was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer or with breast cancer before age 50 years or having multiple family members with breast or ovarian cancer) should consider the elective surgery as an option.
It can reduce the risk of cancer in the other breast if already diagnosed with breast cancer.
Some women who have been diagnosed with cancer in one breast, particularly those who are known to be at very high risk, may consider having the other breast (called the contralateral breast) removed as well, even if there is no sign of cancer in that breast. However, doctors often discourage contralateral prophylactic mastectomy for women with cancer in one breast who do not meet the criteria of being at very high risk of developing contralateral breast cancer. For such women, the risk of developing another breast cancer, either in the same or the contralateral breast, is very small, especially if they receive adjuvant chemotherapy or hormone therapy as part of their cancer treatment.
Your health insurance may cover it.