What is a Mastectomy?

  • A mastectomy is an operation to remove the breast mainly as a treatment for cancer or to reduce the risk of it developing.
  • In 2010-2011, over 18,000 mastectomies were carried out in England.
  • Risk-reducing (prophylactic) mastectomies are carried out on women who have family history of breast cancer.
  • Certain genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Preventative mastectomies can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 90% in people at a high risk of developing the condition.
  • Some women opt for artificial breast reconstruction after the procedure.

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Brad Pitt: Angelina is 'heroic'

Brad Pitt described his partner Angelina Jolie as "heroic" after the actress revealed she underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer.