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Reducing the risk of breast cancer 

Reducing the risk of breast cancer
Chapter:
Reducing the risk of breast cancer
Author(s):

Hisham Hamed

and Jian Farhadi

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199672844.003.0023
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date: 20 August 2019

BRCA1/2 carriers have a significant lifetime risk of breast cancer. There are few choices of limited efficacy for breast cancer risk reduction. Mastectomy achieves greater than 90% risk reduction. High-quality information, pre-operative physical assessment and effective counselling are important to the recovery and welfare of women with a BRCA1/2 mutation. These women should be fully supported with decision-making and managed by a specialist multidisciplinary team. Mastectomy significantly decreases anxiety and fear of breast cancer. The majority of women who undergo risk-reducing mastectomy experience a minor degree of adverse effect on body image, self-esteem and sexuality but have no regrets. There is, however, a significant negative impact of mastectomy and altered body image. Immediate breast reconstruction therefore constitutes an important aspect of management to restore body image and normality. Fully informed discussions about breast reconstruction, addressing options and expectations, are a crucial part of pre-operative counselling.

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