Some women have surgery to remove healthy breasts and lower their risk of developing breast cancer. This is called a risk-reducing mastectomy and there are different types of these surgeries. Breast reconstruction to make new breast shapes is often done at the same time.

Risk-reducing mastectomy is only appropriate for some women with a high risk of developing breast cancer. Such is the case if:

  • You have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • You tested positive for a gene change that greatly increases your risk, such as BRCA1, BRCA2, PTEN, or TP53
  • You have had breast cancer before and are at high risk of developing cancer in your other breast

A specialist will talk to you about your risk of developing breast cancer. They may explain possible ways of manging your risk.

Deciding whether to have breast surgery is a personal decision, and each woman's situation is different.