We’ve heard a lot of famous celebrities undergo mastectomy, the most popular one being Angelina Jolie who underwent it and called it “empowerment”. Let’s see today what exactly mastectomy is and why people even voluntarily opt for it in spite of no compelling need to the body.

Mastectomy is as complex as it sounds, it is the surgical removal of breast in women. Unfortunately for various reasons many women have to part ways with their breasts, the most compelling reason being breast cancer. It doesn’t matter whether it has been detected or not to undergo a mastectomy, even if one fears the possibility of breast cancer for any reason, she can choose to undergo the procedure. Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy followed by a reconstruction only to eradicate the possibility of breast cancer away from her life forever. It may seem like paranoia at first, but it all makes sense once you learn about breast cancer and the possibilities of suffering from it. This is one of the ways to take control of the deadly disease.

There are five different kinds of mastectomies you need to know about:

  • Total mastectomy: The word total can be replaced with “simple” and this stands as a very common type among women undergoing preventive procedures to avoid breast cancer. Here the entire breast in removed but no muscles are removed from beneath them.
  • Modified radical mastectomy: This procedure is for women who’re suffering from invasive breast cancer. Here the entire breast is removed along with the lymph nodes so as to examine the lymph nodes to detect whether the cancer cells have spread beyond the breast region.
  • Radical mastectomy: When the breast cancer spreads to the chest and the muscles under the breast, radical mastectomy is recommended. In this procedure the entire breast, the lymph nodes and the chest wall muscles under the breast are removed.
  • Partial mastectomy: In this procedure, only the cancerous parts of the breast tissue are removed along with some normal tissue surrounding it.
  • Nipple sparing mastectomy: Here as the name suggests, the nipple alone is spared while the rest of the breast tissues are removed.

Breast cancer awareness around the world has seen a positive increase but still has a very long way to go. Each and every woman must make it a point to do periodic self-checks by examining her breasts by hand, you’ll easily find guidance videos online to make it easier. If you’re a woman, you owe this small examination to your body and if you’re a man, it’s best to make your loved ones aware of the issue and suggest the self-examination since I needn’t talk about how prevention is better than cure and there is nothing better than an early diagnostic of any medical issue, it could save lives.

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