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Subcutaneous mastectomy and immediate reconstruction for prevention of breast cancer for high-risk patients

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Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor among females in the USA, with one out of eight American females developing breast cancer in their lifetimes. The latest studies [1] show that 212,920 new cases of invasive cancer developed in 2006, which is 2.5 times more common than the incidence of lung cancer, and that 40,970 females will die from this disease each year. Therefore, awareness of this cancer is an important health issue, with more women beginning to assess their risk of breast cancer, either informally or with instruments such as the GAIL model [2]. The availability of genetic testing for BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 has revealed many women who are at significantly increased risk. Many aggressive surveillance programs have been developed using advanced MRI and ultrasound, and reductions in breast cancer risk of 50% or more have been proven using chemoprevention strategies with tamoxifen and raloxifene. However, many women are starting to seriously consider prophylactic mastectomy for near-total reduction of breast cancer risk. At our institution, we have developed a procedure for prophylactic subcutaneous mastectomy via an inframammary incision that spares the nipple and is combined with immediate silicone implant reconstruction with the assistance of Alloderm®. In this article we will describe the procedure and some of the important issues surrounding its implementation from our experience.

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Correspondence to Andrew Y. Ashikari.

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This article is based on an invited lecture delivered at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Breast Cancer Society, held in Yokohama 29–30 June 2007.

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Ashikari, R.H., Ashikari, A.Y., Kelemen, P.R. et al. Subcutaneous mastectomy and immediate reconstruction for prevention of breast cancer for high-risk patients. Breast Cancer 15, 185–191 (2008).

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