"Nipple-sparing Surgery Is Safe for Women with Harmful BRCA Mutations"
By Constance M Chen, MD, MPH, December 2017
According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk of breast cancer is approximately 12% for women in the general population, which means that one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. But the risk is considerably greater for women who inherit a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that prevents the gene from performing its proper function, which is to produce proteins that help suppress tumors. That risk is 60% for those with a BRCA1 mutation and 45% for those with a BRCA2 mutation. As more women become aware of these risks, those who test positive for the harmful mutations face the difficult decision of whether to reduce their risk by undergoing bilateral prophylactic mastectomy – preventive removal of both breasts.
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