Myth: Nipple-sparing mastectomies are not a safe procedure for women with a high risk of developing breast cancer.


This is false.

Breast cancer often runs in the family due to the mutation of the breast cancer suppressor gene (BRCA). When BRCA mutations are present, women have a 50% likelihood of developing breast cancer in their lives. Mastectomies are surgical procedures that remove the mutations in the breast. However, they may not be the best procedure for all patients.

A study published in JAMA Surgery investigated whether nipple-sparing mastectomies, that leave a better cosmetic result, are safe in comparison to traditional mastectomies. The study surveyed women from 1996 to 2013 that received nipple-sparing mastectomies, with 346/548 patients having this procedure done. The study shows that breast cancer did not develop in any of the patients during that time, suggesting that nipple-sparing mastectomies are highly safe and preventative against breast cancer in women with BRCA mutations.

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