Evidence that identifiable genetic mutations could increase woman’s risk of developing breast cancer was first demonstrated in 1990 in Berkeley, California. This discovery led to the concept of hereditary breast–ovarian cancer syndrome with, in the case of a BRCA gene mutation, approximately a five times greater than normal risk of developing breast cancer and a 10 to 30 times greater than normal risk of developing ovarian cancer. Since that time, multiple other mutations have been identified that contribute to development of this and similar syndromes.
When a woman is diagnosed with this genetic syndrome, she may be advised to undergo bilateral mastectomies as well as removal of her ovaries (salpingo-oophorectomy) BEFORE she has a chance to develop cancer.
Since her mastectomy is therefore performed before there is a diagnosed malignancy, she will have multiple options for her reconstruction. With some breast shapes, the nipple and areola can be spared. These are often sacrificed in mastectomies for active cancer. Sometimes breast lifts, reductions, or even augmentations can be achieved at the time of her reconstruction. Reconstructions can be performed using natural tissue or implant methods.
Dr. Fisher specializes in mastectomy reconstruction and offers a compassionate and individualized approach to every patient, helping her through the difficult process of selecting the best reconstructive option for her, all the way through surgical treatment.
I Have Been Diagnosed With The BRCA Gene. What Are My Options? – Christine Fisher MD