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December 13th, 2016

Nipple-sparing mastectomy may be a good option

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young
Technique offers a safe way to reduce breast cancer risk
in carriers of the BRCA mutation.

Mastectomies that preserve the nipple and surrounding skin prevent breast cancer as effectively as do more-invasive surgeries for women with a genetic mutation called BRCA, a multi-institution study led by Mayo Clinic Cancer Center found.

The study findings were presented at the annual meeting of The American Society of Breast Surgeons in April in Dallas.

The research should reassure patients and surgeons that nipple-sparing mastectomies, which leave women with more natural-looking breasts than do other mastectomies, are a safe way to reduce breast cancer risk in carriers of the BRCA mutation, which raises their risk of developing breast cancer.

Photograph of James W. Jakub, M.D.

James W. Jakub, M.D.

Read more about this work and gain the perspective of study lead author James Jakub, M.D.

Dr. Jakub and his research colleagues published another study in September, in the American Journal of Surgery, that examined the outcomes and feasibility of nipple-sparing mastectomy for patients with node-positive breast cancer. They found that it could be "a reasonable option for selected node-positive breast cancer patients."

Both studies provide heartening news for women who might struggle with the decision to have a mastectomy to reduce risk of new or advancing breast cancer.

"There is no question that this option of nipple-sparing mastectomy can often provide an outstanding cosmetic result and may make it easier for women who are at risk to take this preventive measure," Dr. Jakub said.

This work is part of the continuing efforts and commitment of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center to discover new ways to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, and to transform the quality of life for cancer patients today and in the future.

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The full story of Dr. Jakub's research appears in Forefront, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's online magazine.

Tags: BRCA, breast cancer, Findings, Forefront, Innovations, James Jakub, mastectomy, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, nipple-sparing, Progress Updates

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