Question: If I have a mastectomy, does that decrease the chance of the breast cancer coming back?
Answer: That's an excellent question; in fact, many patients diagnosed with breast cancer have that exact concern. Back in the 80s, an international, multi-institutional clinical trial was conducted, comparing the effectiveness and the long-term survival rates in patients who underwent mastectomy compared to those who underwent breast conservation. The data from this clinical trial showed at five years and has continually since that time proven that the survival advantage is equal when comparing breast conservation to mastectomy. Thus today, the choice for mastectomy is much more personalized than it was 15 or 20 years ago.