What Should I Say To Relatives and Friends Who Think I Am 'Foolish' For Having Prophylactic Mastectomy?

Question: What should I say to family members, friends and others who think I am 'foolish' for having prophylactic mastectomies??

Answer: That's a very hard question and of course, it depends very much on the woman and the family member who's giving her a hard time about prophylactic mastectomy. It's important, first of all, to know her actual risk and today we can with a moderate degree of certainty, actually explain what a woman's individual risk is in terms of her genetic background, her family history what we know about the biology and genetics of her particular risk and she can then say, "My risk is X." And have some degree of certainty, within a range, as to what risk she is reacting to.

Beyond that, she can simply say, "That risk for me was sufficient, that I was unwilling to live with it. I sought consultation, I did not ask in haste, I considered my options and among the options, prophylactic mastectomy, for me, was clearly the best solution." And if someone her family or friend has trouble with that, she can then be confident that the problem is in that person and not within herself.

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