Intended for healthcare professionals

This Week In The Bmj

Prophylactic mastectomy may reduce anxiety in women at high risk

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 13 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:c

For many women at high genetic risk of breast cancer, fear of developing the disease may lead to chronic anxiety and worry. A study by Hatcher et al (p 76) of 154 women offered bilateral prophylactic mastectomy found that women choosing surgery had reduced anxiety after surgery. Women who declined surgery had no such reduction in psychological symptoms. Surgery did not seem to affect body image or sexual functioning. This first prospective psychosexual study of bilateral prophylactic mastectomy found that the procedure may provide psychological benefits.

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription