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Tell Us What You Wish Other People Knew About Mastectomies

Tell us what no one talks about — but should — when it comes to having a mastectomy and life afterward.

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A mastectomy refers to the surgical removal of one or both breasts to treat or prevent breast cancer.

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There are several different types of mastectomies, depending on what kind of surgery is done and how much tissue is removed. Examples include a total mastectomy, partial mastectomy, radical mastectomy, nipple-sparing mastectomy, and more. Sometimes only the breast is removed, and other times the chest muscle and lymph nodes must be removed as well.

Mastectomies are typically done to treat breast cancer, but they may also be performed to prevent breast cancer in people who are at very high risk — such as women who carry the BRCA gene.


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Mastectomies are typically performed to treat breast cancer. An earlier version of this article misstated that they were typically preventive.

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