Whether to have risk-reducing breast surgery is your decision. You may need lots of time to make up your mind. Or you may already have decided that surgery is right for you.
The surgery involves removing healthy tissue rather than removing cancer. So whatever your situation, it’s important that you have time to carefully consider things.
You will usually have several appointments with different healthcare professionals. They will talk to you about:
- your risk of breast cancer
- the different options for managing or reducing your risk what risk-reducing breast surgery involves
- your options for breast reconstruction
- your feelings about the surgery and how it may affect you and your relationships.
This usually takes a few months, which may sound like a long time. But it’s important to take time to make sure you make an informed decision.
The following healthcare professionals will support you while you make your decision:
- A clinical geneticist or genetics counsellor will explain your risk of getting breast cancer. They will explain your risk over your lifetime and over the next 5–10 years. They will also talk to you about your options for reducing or managing your risk of breast cancer.
- A breast surgeon will talk to you about your risk of breast cancer and about risk-reducing breast surgery.
- A reconstructive surgeon will discuss breast reconstruction options with you. They can show you photos of women who have had risk-reducing breast surgery and breast reconstruction.
- A breast care nurse will give you information and support.
- A psychologist can help you explore your feelings and expectations about risk-reducing breast surgery. They can help you think about what support you may need to cope with the effects of surgery and a change in your body image.