Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Do breast reductions lower your risk?

ladybugmommy2010 Member Posts: 4
edited September 2016 in High Risk for Breast Cancer

I plan to get a breast reduction soon due to neck,shoulder pain and headaches as well as my breasts just constantly hurting.

Anyone know if it also helps reduce the risk?


  • Hopefloatsinyyc
    Hopefloatsinyyc Member Posts: 97
    edited August 2016

    I had a breast reduction in 2012 and had clear breasts prior to that with no family history. 4 years later I am here... IDC in the left breast and DCIS in the right. I don't feel it reduced my risk at all.. Though not sure what my risk level was prior... So maybe!

  • ladybugmommy2010
    ladybugmommy2010 Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2016

    WoW that is crazy! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • reflect
    reflect Member Posts: 280
    edited August 2016

    I remember reading about a European study (Danish?) that actually did show that breast reduction decreased risk of bc. Ah, Swedish women, US study, found this on Web MD, sure you can find the study itself from info here. Didn't copy the whole article.

    WebMD News Archive

    Breast-Reduction Surgery May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

    Sept. 19, 2000 -- Breast-reduction surgery can reduce a woman's risk of breast cancer, especially if she is over 50, according to a study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. But experts interviewed by WebMD say that this alone is not a reason for most women at high risk for breast cancer to have the surgery.

    "If a woman is seriously considering the reduction of tissue in her breast because she is very concerned about the likelihood of developing breast cancer, she should know that partial removal -- as opposed to completely removing the entire breast -- results in a meaningful reduction in risk," says John D. Boice Jr., ScD, the study's author.

    But he adds that his study results do not necessarily apply to everyone and that each woman should discuss the risks and benefits of such surgery with her physician.

    For the study, Boice, who is scientific director at the International Epidemiology Institute in Rockville, Md., and colleagues studied health records of nearly 32,000 Swedish women, with a median age of 33, who had undergone breast-reduction surgery. The women's cases were followed up for an average of eight years.

    Based on statistical estimates, the researchers expected to find 224 cases of breast cancer in this group, but instead they found 161 -- 28% less than expected. The gap was even bigger for women who were over 50 when they had the breast-reduction surgery: The researchers found 43% fewer cases of breast cancer than expected in this group.

    Good luck! I was looking into breast reduction when I got diagnosed.

  • Begonia
    Begonia Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2016

    I had a reduction in late 2011 with a revision to go smaller in 2012, not necessarily to reduce my risk of breast cancer, but to make it easier for me to do self exams. Previously, my breasts were so large and so dense (and had so many fibroadenomas) that it was nearly impossible for me to figure out what was going on. Having them reduced from a DDD to a B/C cup gave me a better feeling of control over self exams, if that makes any sense. It did take me a while after surgery to learn my new normal landmarks, as a lot of tissue and several fibroadenomas were removed in the surgery.

    It was a really fabulous choice for me. I would speak to a plastic surgeon and a breast specialist about a specific reduced risk though.

  • chisandy
    chisandy Member Posts: 11,225
    edited August 2016

    It’d depend on where the cancer would have been located--which would take a crystal ball or time-travel for many if not most of us. Could be that these women were young, young women have denser breasts, and dense breasts are at higher risk. And epidemiological studies measure coincidence--not necessarily correlation and certainly not causation. Breast reduction is not without its pain and risks--and it might not be something a young healthy woman would consider if her large breasts were not causing her any physical, social or emotional problems. I know I didn’t when I was younger. And as pointed out, it’s not preventive, just statistically reductive. I’d try it now, but only if I had to have a mastectomy on one side and I wanted to achieve symmetry--no oncoplastic surgeon would attempt to reconstruct a size H or I breast--either after reconstruction of the cancer side or via prosthesis (they don’t make mastectomy bras that large--even DD is not easy to find. I know--before my biopsy I did some searching).

  • rebzamy
    rebzamy Member Posts: 49
    edited August 2016

    I had a breast reduction in 2006 and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. In the UK they didn't give me a mammogram or do any other checks beforehand but I'm guessing that if they had done then they would have spotted widespread DCIS and it could have been caught earlier.

  • starwoman
    starwoman Member Posts: 16
    edited August 2016

    The breast reduction I had in 2011 revealed occult high grade DCIS in the left breast (not diagnosed from compulsory pre-op mammogram). I eventually had a left mastectomy in 2012 and was told that the reduction of the right *might* reduce the risk of BC in that breast. Right was diagnosed with IDC in 2014. I feel the prolonged bilateral healing problems (over 12 months of continuous cellulitis, inflammation) contributed to the development of IDC but no proof of course. The reduction complications were very rare and, like many women, I wished I'd had the reduction earlier (scared of the surgery). Only went for it because my 34HH size was causing increasing discomfort but perhaps good timing given the occult DCIS.

  • alicki
    alicki Member Posts: 85
    edited August 2016


    I had one in 2013 and revision in 2015. No cancer (was checked before with MRI and after all tissues were analysed, which is not always the case!). Base line ultrasound, MRI and mammo were done 9 months after both reductions. But I shout loudly to get exams done. I had bouts of inflammation in breasts before reduction, no such problems since. There's a websit called (I think) which is really good and docs answer on there too to questions.

    I have hyperplasia so am now on a high risk program although so far so good. Yes, it does lower the risk, because it takes away some of the tissue away and it's more difficult to see things in a H than a C or D cup

    but only do it for good reasons. I had massive fat necrosis and it took a revision to sort that out (and an excellent surgeon!). So yes, there are risks, you need to make sure your research well your surgeon and ask him about post-op care. That is hugely important



  • momoschki
    momoschki Member Posts: 218
    edited August 2016

    There is some (observational) evidence that there may be some protective effect, but it's controversial. Most of the studies come out of Scandinavia and Canada. Those studies suggest that the effect is strongest in older women and is directly proportional to the amount of tissue removed.

    I actually had this done over 5 years ago after dx of ADH. I wasn't humongous to begin with (34D), but went down to a 34B. The PS who did the surgery was totally onboard with my motivation and is part of an oncoplastic team at a major NYC teaching hospital. Recovery was pretty easy (3 weeks) and I'm thrilled with the results. I figured there was little downside for me

  • ladybugmommy2010
    ladybugmommy2010 Member Posts: 4
    edited September 2016

    Thank you all so much!