Discovering breast cancer is normally confusing as well as upsetting. Australians, suddenly find themselves making radical decisions as far treatment options are concerned. There are many unique personal reactions to breast cancer, as they are uniquely different manifestations of the disease. These reactions determine the nature of mastectomy one would settle for and the risk involved. With double mastectomy, a woman loses both breast, and she may end up feeling as if she has lost her sexual identity.
However, double mastectomy can be used as a preventive measure for high risk Australian women cases. Women can also opt to eliminate as much chance of breast cancer recurrence as possible by having a double mastectomy whenever necessary. A woman must ask herself what she is going to do with the facts obtained from a genetic test of breast cancer that turns out to be positive. One possible response to a test for mutations is a double mastectomy; however, if the woman is not ready to pursue that option, then there is little she can do after the test.
There is the benefit of bilateral preventive mastectomy in breast cancer risk reduction in women at an increased risk. Statistics in Australia indicate that a greater percentage of breast cancer reduction in women with a strong history of breast cancer would involve bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. Bilateral mastectomy reduces breast cancer risk by a considerable percentage in moderate risk women and in high risk women. Women considering prophylactic mastectomy need to be fully aware of the issues involved the recommended procedure, and possible outcomes.
A total mastectomy, which involves the removal of the breast tissue and the nipple and the areola, is recommended instead of a subcutaneous mastectomy, which preserves the nipple, as this minimizes residual at risk tissue. Australian women having prophylactic mastectomy may not need to undergo axillary lymph node sampling or dissection.
Any woman considering this option should consult with a breast surgeon and plastic surgeon to learn specific, individual risks and benefits for bilateral preventive mastectomy. The kinds of reconstruction recommendations vary among women based on the amount of tissue able to be transplanted in an autologous recreated breast, or on the significant dangers along with the length of anaesthesia required in accord to the chosen reconstruction method in use.
Preventive mastectomy is known to cause chest numbness along with absent nipple sensation. Accompanying complications include but are not limited to: psychological distress, skin necrosis, pain, hematomas, seromas, and dissatisfaction with cosmetic results. The most unique aspect is that most of the women in Australia who have elected preventive mastectomy have reported satisfaction with their decision.
Regardless of the point that there is no specific guidelines for prophylactic mastectomy; specialist in mastectomy in Australia suggest four potential groups of women to consider preventive mastectomy. These women include: women with non-invasive breast cancer, women with atypical hyperplasia, women with invasive breast cancer who wish to remove their contralateral breast, along with women who have a strong family history of breast cancer.
1) Women consider mastectomy to reduce their risk of OF breast cancer: http://canceraustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/241011_Pink_Ribbon_MEDIA_RELEASE.pdf
2) Breast reconstruction for women considering preventative (prophylactic) mastectomy: http://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-types/breast-cancer/treatment/breast-reconstruction/preventative-mastectomy
3) Krystal’s Corner: http://pinkhope.org.au/krystals-corner/#.U9_IwKP4ItA