If I Carry a Breast Cancer Gene Mutation, Should I Have a Mastectomy Instead of Breast Conservation Surgery?

Question: If I am diagnosed with breast cancer and I am a carrier of a mutation of one of the breast cancer genes, should I have a mastectomy instead of breast conservation surgery?

Answer: That's an excellent question, and in fact, it's the most frequently asked question by patients who are diagnosed as being carriers of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The concern we have, caring for patients with breast cancer or who carry these genetic mutations, is: what treatment will be most effective to ensure your best chance of survival? I and many of my colleagues feel very strongly that removal of all the breast tissue through mastectomy provides these types of patients with the best chance for long-term survival and cure.

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