Ask an Expert: View a Question

Ask an Expert is a free question-and-answer service about breast cancer and breast health that is available on weekends. If you'd like to ask a question or comment, please visit us again on Saturday or Sunday. In the meantime, please search the existing topics using the search tool at the top of the page. It's quite possible that one of our many existing topics already addresses your question.

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Breast Abnormalities and Other Symptoms
General questions about breast health and possible symptoms.
14,730 Ask a Question

AskedPublicly Submitted Question
3/3/2018I have a bad breast cancer family history, is it better to undergo mastectomy now at age 50 without any diagnose yet, or wait until I develop breast cancer and then remove it? My Genetic Counselor recommend removing them now, but I am just wondering what if I got diagnosed with breast cancer and then remove it. Does it matter, from my understanding as long as I will remove it the cancer will be gone from my body!
RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
3/5/2018This is a personal choice. If you carry a gene mutation (like BRCA), some women will have their breasts removed as a preventive measure from getting breast cancer. If you do not carry this gene, having yearly mammograms, yearly clinical breast exams by your doctor and performing monthly breast self-exams is the best way to stay on top of your breast health. Maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol and regular exercise can also go a long way to lowering your risk for breast cancer. Once a woman has breast cancer, there are other treatments that go hand-in-hand with surgery, so having a mastectomy is not the only thing they face. Again, this is up to each individual patient.

Please note: This service is not intended to provide primary medical advice concerning specific medical care or treatment. Ask an Expert is a free service operated by health care professionals at the Johns Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Center. Due to the volume of questions and their complexity, there are times when medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists or oncology nurses are consulted for their input. These individuals volunteer their time for this service and will respond as soon as they are able. Please do not post or send the same question to us in multiple locations or categories.

The contents of this portion of the website cannot be used as a substitute for a consultation with your doctor or other healthcare provider. It also may not represent the opinions of other Johns Hopkins professionals. It is a free service performed on volunteer time and intended to provide feedback to questions posted by consumers however should not be used as a directive or instructions to now follow. Seeing your own medical provider is always important in getting your needs and questions addressed. In the majority of cases, a clinical examination, review of pathology slides and xrays, along with other medical information is needed to truly provide a consultative service. If you wish to receive a formal consultation with our physicians please call 443-997-8282 for surgical appointments and 410-955-8964 for medical or radiation oncology appts. For breast imaging, call 410-955-4100.


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