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A 44-year-old member asked:

Is it possible to get breast cancer after a mastectomy?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Regina Hampton
Breast Surgery 23 years experience
Yes: It is possible to get breast cancer after a mastectomy but the risk should be low. It also depends on the type of cancer you are treated for, the type of treatment you received and if the margins are clear. It is best to speak with your oncology team about your risks for a breast cancer after mastectomy.
Dr. Winnie Polen
Breast Surgery 21 years experience
Yes: During a mastectomy, the surgeon attempts to remove as much breast tissue as possible but no surgeon can remove every last bit of breast tissue. Your residual skin/surrounding tissue still has to remain viable. So even with a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) there is still a very small chance of developing breast cancer at a later time.

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Similar questions

A 31-year-old member asked:

Could you get breast cancer after a mastectomy?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Medical Oncology 35 years experience
Yes: There could be residual malignant breast tissue in the chest wall (local recurrence) or the cancer could have already spread to other organs before surgery (metastasis).
A 34-year-old member asked:

Could i get a double mastectomy without having breast cancer?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Carlos Encarnacion
Medical Oncology 35 years experience
Yes: If someone has a high risk inherited mutation or other circumstances that increase significantly the risk for breast cancer, that person can be considered for a preventative mastectomy.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2020

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