Is Recurrence Risk Greater If I Have a Skin-Sparing Mastectomy Than With a Conventional Mastectomy?

Question: Is the risk of my breast cancer recurring greater if I have a skin-sparing mastectomy as opposed to a conventional mastectomy?

Answer: The likelihood of a tumor coming back in the chest wall area after a mastectomy is the function of the biology of the tumor and its size. So whether or not you're having a skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction does not affect that risk. And our experience at M.D. Anderson is: the risk of a chest wall recurrence is exactly the same, regardless of whether or not you're having reconstruction. The important thing is to make sure that your surgeons get negative margins when they did the mastectomy.

Next: What is a Prophylactic Mastectomy and Am I Still at Risk for Breast Cancer If I Have this Surgery?

Eva Singletary, MD
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