I want to minimize my chances of Breast Cancer. How much would a Prophylactic Mastectomy cost?

i am high risk for breast cancer having a sister diagnosed at 39 years old. i am 46. my doctor recommends tamoxifen for 5 years but i am terrified of side effects. i do not have the BRCA gene but would prefer to have a prophylactic mastectomy than take an anti-cancer drug that could cause other problems. i know my insurance wouldnt cover such a measure because i am gene-negative. how much would that procedure cost and would i be able to find a doctor willing to perform such a surgery on me?

Doctor Answers 5

I want to minimize my chances of Breast Cancer. How much would a Prophylactic Mastectomy cost?

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Thank you for your question!  This scenario is becoming more common. It is a tricky situation, and one that should be discussed with a breast surgical oncologist. It hour the diagnosis of breast CA or (+) genetic testing, it is difficult for coverage and usually not performed as an elective procedure. Diligent self examinations and routine radiologic imaging is warranted and recommended.  

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast reconstruction

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This is becoming a more common issue.  As you can imagine there are several cases very similar to yours.  I have been involved with cases where a strong family history and a patient who kept having biopsies ultimately had bilateral mastectomies.  Having a consult with a breast surgeon and medical oncologist may beneficial.  I hope this helps!

Prophylactic mastectomy

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If you are high risk for breast cancer, a prophylactic mastectomy may be indicated.  This is something you should discuss with a breast surgeon.  A decision to have prophylatic mastectomies should be made after weighing the risks and potential benefit in risk reduction.  Mastectomies are usually covered by insurance. 

David S. Chang, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Prophylatic mastectomy

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The decision to have prophylactic mastectomies is a complex one and I encourage you to discuss your risk and options with a medical oncologist and breast oncological surgeon.  If it is still a consideration, then you should discuss this with a plastic surgery to determine how your reconstruction could turn out with all the available methods of reconstruction. If your breasts are simple to reconstruct then perhaps the threshold to proceed with mastectomies might be lower.  It is important to understand that breast reconstruction surgery is not breast augmentation surgery.

The use of breast fat grafting in my practice for total breast reconstruction after mastectomy has proven to be an appealing option for patients undergoing prophylactic mastectomy.

Timothy Connall, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Prophylactic Mastectomy

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I completely understand your point of view, and suggest speaking to a breast surgeon more in depth about your risk and wish for a prophylactic mastectomy. Bilateral prophylactic mastectomies with reconstruction should be covered by your insurance, if the surgery is indicated. Good luck!

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.