Current status of prophylactic mastectomy.

Karthik Ghosh, Lynn C. Hartmann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The management of women at high risk for breast cancer presents a clinical dilemma to the health-care provider as well as to the woman herself. Current options include surveillance, prophylactic surgery (mastectomy and/or oophorectomy), and/or chemoprevention. Prophylactic mastectomy, including bilateral prophylactic mastectomy in high-risk women or contralateral prophylactic mastectomy in women with primary breast cancer, has been a controversial clinical option. In this review, we address the efficacy of prophylactic mastectomy in reducing the risk of breast cancer in high-risk women, the use of this procedure, surgical complications, and its psychosocial impact. The decision to undergo prophylactic mastectomy is highly personal and must be preceded by an in-depth assessment of the woman's risk of breast cancer, and a thorough discussion of the benefits of the procedure weighed against its potential surgical risks and psychological impact. It is also imperative that the woman be informed of alternative options for management, including chemoprevention, close surveillance, and prophylactic oophorectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1325; discussion 1325, 1329-1330, 1332
JournalOncology (Williston Park, N.Y.)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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