Ask The Doctor-Should I have a preventative mastectomy?

purple flowerThis week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: I am 60. I have had a core bio in right breast, and my maternal aunt had breast cancer. My left breast is became two sizes bigger than right, and I have fibefib. Cystic diseases. Last year my mamo showed no cancer, but I am about a 36 c in right breast and 38c in left. It’s painful. Should I be proactive and have both removed since already in right? I have had a core bio for two lumps showed benign. Thanks

Answer: Thanks for your question. Women who are at an increased risk for breast cancer and/or who have difficult breasts to screen for breast cancer do sometimes consider preventive mastectomies. Certainly not every woman in your situation would do that. In order for you to make a decision you should discuss your specific situation with a breast surgical oncologist. They could give you more specifics about your risks. Other considerations are quality of life issues. Having to undergo frequent biopsies or repeat imaging are all reasons some of our patients tell us they have preventive mastectomies. Finally, the options for breast reconstruction available to you can make a difference to you in your decision. We can give you more specifics about those options if you like. We have all our patients discuss their risks with one of the breast oncologist and geneticists we work with. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Have a question about breast reconstruction or post-surgical you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask!

Ask the Doctors: Listen In, Again!

Yesterday’s live call was amazing—did you miss it?

Here’s a shot of Dr. James Craigie in action, as he listened and answered questions.

If you missed the call, don’t worry!

Here’s a link to the replay:


Drs. Craigie and Kline answered your questions on a wide range of topics related to natural breast reconstruction, including:

    • Recovery issues–how long do certain procedures take
    • Aesthetic concerns—scar tissue, nipple sparing, etc.
    • More about preventive mastectomies…
  • And much more you’ll want to hear!

We are here for you. Feel free to scroll back through our comprehensive Ask the Doctor archive here on the blog, too, for more information! Or contact us anytime.

Should I Have a Preventive Mastectomy?

Should I Have a Preventive Mastectomy?The following question is answered by Dr.James Craigie of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.


I have no history of breast or ovarian cancer in my family, but my  mother and my sister do have a history of benign masses.  I’ve been told that I will need to frequently monitor any masses  I have or develop… likely for life. 

Every month, I can feel my breast tissue changing and becoming more fibrous (lumpy-bumpy), which makes me very uncomfortable.  I’ve watched a few friends with no cancer risk battle breast cancer recently, and I’m just not willing to allow myself to get to that point if possible. For peace of mind, and reduced cancer risk, I’d be much more comfortable undergoing a major surgery.  

Is this a logical solution given this circumstance, or am I overreacting?



I have had numerous patients in similar situations decide to have preventive mastectomies and immediate reconstruction. It is a very personal decision to make and I do not feel you are overreacting to at least consider the option. Risk reduction mastectomy is the most effective way one can actively reduce the risk of breast cancer.

James Craigie,MD
Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction


Have a question about breast reconstruction you’d like answered from our surgical team? Just ask us!