Prophylactic Mastectomy, Thoughts Shared By A Cancer Coach
In my last article, I promised to share some information about prophylactic mastectomy, which is the removal of a single breast or both breasts, disease-free, to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. My own personal opinion (which may or may not count with anyone) is that this sort of surgery is happening far too frequently these days, especially in younger women. While there are certainly situations when prophylactic mastectomy might make sense, they are few and far between. If your doctor has suggested prophylactic mastectomy for you, please read this article.
While the following is not an exhaustive list, these 7 situations are most frequently the basis for a recommendation of prophylactic mastectomy.
The 7 Situations When Your Doctor May Recommend Prophylactic Mastectomy:
- When you have a strong family history of breast cancer.
- When you have a personal history of breast cancer – the thinking here is that this your likelihood of developing a new cancer in the opposite breast than someone who has never had breast cancer.
- When you’ve tested positive for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which some feel increases the risk of breast cancer.
- When you have been diagnosed with lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), which has been shown to increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer.
- When you’ve had radiation therapy to the chest before age 30, which appears to increase the risk of breast cancer throughout your life.
- When you have widely spread breast microcalcifications (very tiny deposits of calcium in the breast tissue) sometimes this means cancer can be present, certainly not always.
- Some doctors are even recommending prophylactic mastectomy for women with dense breasts. The thinking here is that it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose breast abnormalities which sometimes requires the removal of tissue samples to study under a microscope (biopsy). If this happens too many times, the scar tissue that is created can cause problems for mammography screening.
My Answers To Those 7 Situations
Using the above numbering system, I would like to go out on a limb and offer a new way of thinking. Again I remind you that this is simply my opinion (and everyone, as you know, has one!) I have years of mind-body research, a background in natural medicine, years of experience as a breast cancer coach, I fought the disease myself, and I am continually reading the latest research.
1. If your doctor recommends prophylactic mastectomy because you have a strong family history, get a new doctor. That is practicing fear-based medicine at its worst. I had a strong family history – both my mother and her mother died from breast cancer. And even though I did get it as well, I learned that there are many causes of breast cancer, it is a multi-factorial disease. I learned what those causes are and limited my exposure, I learned not to be afraid of cancer and how to take my healing into my own hands, and now I teach these things to others.
2. If you have a personal history of breast cancer, it doesn’t mean that just because you got it in one breast, you will get it in the other. It’s not too late to change your life by taking some positive steps towards health and wellness. If you need more information about this, sign up for my free newsletters on the right side of this page and you’ll get my two free e-books as well.
3. Ah, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Would you be interested in knowing that the ONE single company that tests for these genes (and charges thousands of dollars for doing so, thank you very much) is presently trying to take out a PATENT on the genes? Would they be doing this if there weren’t a lot of money involved here? Read my article on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Read also the web page of Breast Cancer Action, an organization that opposes gene patenting.
4. If you have had LCIS then you might have an increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer. But as I said in paragraph 2, it’s not too late to change your prospects by being very proactive with body and mind and immune system. Find out what things will take you back to a state of extreme good health.
5. If you have had radiation therapy before the age of 30 but you still have healthy breasts, there are things you can do to minimize whatever damage that might exist. Don’t undergo needless mastectomy if you have healthy breasts.
6. Microcalcifications in the breast do not mean that cancer is present. Again, there are things you can do to minimize any possible problems.
7. On Aug 20, 2012, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers reported that high breast density does not increase the risk of death among breast cancer patients. If you have dense breasts and your doctor recommends prophylactic mastectomy, get a new doctor.
Here’s what I recommend if you’re on the fence about prophylactic mastectomy. If you have healthy breasts, you have time to make your decision. Subscribe to my newsletter series because I’m all about being proactive with your health, both body and mind. I have lots of top quality information based on actual research in my newsletters, and they won’t cost you a thing.
Prophylactic Mastectomy: No Guarantee
Although prophylactic mastectomy is shown to greatly reduce your chances of developing breast cancer, it is not a guarantee. For one thing, it is almost impossible to remove all the breast tissue. Cancer can still develop in the tissue that is left on the chest wall or underarm area.
The latest paleoanthropological research shows that cancer was virtually nonexistent before pollution and poor diet became the norm.
Science is still no closer to finding out what causes cancer because I think they’re looking in the wrong place. Cancer is a man-made disease. It’s going to require us getting VERY proactive with our food and nutrition, our environment, our body products, and our minds to rid ourselves of cancer.
Sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem and please be sure to consult your health care professional when making decisions about your health.