Dr. Wasif recalls the best breast cancer candidate for a nipple-sparing mastectomy and shares how common it has become for women to have preventive double mastectomies.
Generally most women will be candidates for a nipple-sparing mastectomy. There’s some patients in which we are a little reluctant to do it and those are women whose cancer is relatively close to the nipple and again, it’s for the reason because this is a relatively new surgical innovation and we want to, even when we do these things the priority for us is to make sure that the cancer is taken care of.
So if we think that your breast cancer is too close to the nipple to be able to preserve it safely, we don’t do it. That would be about the only case in which you would not be a candidate. Almost all other women, and I think that is about 90% of women, are candidates for this procedure.
Surprisingly in the 2000s we are seeing more and more of that, especially in younger women. So they have a cancer on one side. We know that the other side is completely normal, but their rationale for this is, “I don’t ever want to go through this again so I just want all my breast removed so I can minimize my risk of having a recurrence or a new breast cancer to as low as possible,” and we are performing what we call a double mastectomy or a prophylactic mastectomy on the other side, much more commonly than we did in the past.
About Dr. Nabil Wasif, M.D.:
Dr. Nabil Wasif, M.D., is a general surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, certified by the American Board of Surgery. He graduated from Aga Khan University Medical College in Pakistan and completed his residency in general surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell in New York. His interests include surgical oncology, general surgery, GI oncology, breast cancer, melanoma, and sarcomas.