How Prophylactic Mastectomies Work


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Author's Note: How Prophylactic Mastectomies Work

Angelina Jolie's public discussion of the results of her BRCA genetic testing and subsequent bilateral mastectomy sparked conversation among women and within the medical community because she chose to have surgery before she was diagnosed with cancer. Mastectomy used as a prevention strategy for women who are at high risk for inheriting the disease may save lives, but we can do better in regard to the physical as well as the psychosocial well-being and needs of patients after choosing preventive surgery. It will be interesting to see if the increased public awareness of prophylactic cancer treatments gives a positive boost to not only the awareness of such options but research into new, less invasive treatments.

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