Does Having a Breast Reduction or Lift Increase Your Chances of Breast Cancer or Cysts?

does a breast reduction or lift increse a chance for breast cancer? there is no family history of cancer so far and i am in general healthy.

Doctor Answers 20

No increased risk of breast cancer after breast reduction surgery

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There is no evidence that the risk of breast cancer goes up after breast reduction according to many studies that have been done to answer this questions. One report that grouped all the other studies showed a possible decrease in cancer risk. So as best we know, it is a safe procedure that has high patient satisfaction.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Breast Recution

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Having a breast reduction or breast lift does not increase your chance of breast cancer.  I am curious why you ask that question and who may be feeding you false information?

Risks of Breast Cancer with Lift

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All surgical procedures carry some degree of risk. Any breast operation can result in changes in sensation. This happens less with lifts than reductions but is still possible Occasionally, minor complications occur and do not affect the surgical outcome. Major complications associated with this procedure are rare. The suitability of the breast lift procedure and specific risks may be determined during your consultation.

Although these risks and some risks of scarring exist, there is no real increased risk of breast cysts or cancer from the breast lift (mastopexy) alone. Best of luck to you!

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Breast Surgery and Cancer?

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Thank you for the question.

There is no evidence that any type of breast surgery increases the risk of breast cancer.

Best wishes.

Does breast reduction increase the risk of developing breast cancer?

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Undergoing a breast reduction does not increase your risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, there are a few studies that reveal a lowered risk of developing breast cancer following a breast reduction and this was at a statistically significant level for women over the age of 40.

Interestingly, some breast cancers that hadn't been picked up by screening measures such as mammograms, have been identified in the breast tissue removed during breast reduction. This obviously allows for a better prognosis when the tumor is extremely small versus when much larger at which point in time a mammograms can identify it.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Breast reduction and lift and the risk of breast cancer or cyst formation

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A breast reduction or lift will likely increase the chances of cysts due to inclusion cysts from de-epithelialization or from fat necrosis. Neither has been associated with an increased  risk of cancer. Furhtermore one European retrospective study has suggested a reduced risk of breast cancer in large breasted women who have undergone breast reduction.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast reduction and associated risk of breast cancer

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Thank you for the question.

There is no correlation between breast reduction surgery and an increased risk of breast cancer. In fact, there are studies suggestive that a breast reduction may reduce the risk of breast cancer. As mentioned by some of my colleagues, a volume reduction in breast tissue may explain why there is a hypothesized associated decreased risk of breast cancer due to less overall breast tissue. This is merely speculative, however.  In general, regular breast exams as well as scheduled mammograms for age-appropriate women are highly recommended. 

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast reduction

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There is no increase risk of breast cancer from getting a breast reduction.  All breast tissue that is removed is routinely sent for pathologic analysis as a precautionary measure....the literature used to say 1 in 100 cases would find a breast cancer in the specimen, however most of us feel it is much more rare than that and I have never seen that.  If there specimen did in fact show cancer it would mean it was already present and actually it is important to know because the doctor would end up having to do more surgery.  I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

No risks

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all the studies have proven breast reduction does not increase the risk of cancer but on the contrary it might decrease the risk because you are removing  tissue from the breast 

Nawarah Alarfaj, MD
Saudi Arabia Plastic Surgeon

Breast reduction may reduce your chance of breast cancer

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When you have a breast reduction, a significant amount of breast tissue is removed. This means less tissue to get breast cancer in. It makes sense but it's hard to prove. I think we came closing to proving it in a paper we wrote and published a few years ago. It was a huge study.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.