Mastectomy recommended for breast cancer gene carriers

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  • Women with high-risk cancer gene 'should have breast removed'

    Women who carry the high-risk breast cancer gene should choose to have their breasts removed to cut the risk of developing the disease, scientists have advised.

    A new study indicates that the pre-emptive operation could reduce the risk of developing cancer to less than 1%.

    It is estimated 100,000 women in the UK carry the dangerous versions of the BRCA genes, meaning they have an 85% chance of getting breast cancer.

    Women carrying the gene can currently either opt for a lifetime of regular monitoring or a pre-emptive mastectomy.

    Approximately half of women carrying the gene are believed to undergo the operation.

    Dutch doctor, Dr Kaas who studied the decreased risk after a mastectomy commented: ‘On current evidence we can safely state that continued follow-up, which can be costly as well as stressful for the patient, is not warranted in patients who have had a prophylactic mastectomy.

    ‘However, the decision to remove healthy breasts is solely the decision of the woman, and health care services should not press women to make this choice simply to reduce costs.’

    Breast cancer charities in Britain have supported the latest news but said that further research was needed.

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