Breast reduction and cancer in the gland remnant: A review

Beniamino Palmieri, Alberto Costa, Giorgia Benuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims. The main aims of this paper are: (1) to evaluate the impact of partial breast gland removal, for cosmetic or functional reasons on cancer incidence in the long-term post-surgical follow-up; (2) to define the incidental cancer finding during breast reduction; (3) to examine the oncological perspective of contralateral breast reduction in women with post-mastectomy breast reconstruction, (4) to consider the impact of breast reduction techniques as first choice procedure in the treatment of cancers in megalomastia. Methods. We reviewed the clinical articles published in the last 20 years addressed to the relationship between the amount of tissue removed and cancerogenesis of the remnant gland. The review has been also extended to published papers outlining the future trends of breast reduction procedures from an oncological perspective, potentially as specific choice of selected cancer treatment in megalomastia. Results. Assessment of the literature data reveals that breast reduction does decrease the risk of breast and other types of cancers. The actual risk lowering for patients older than 40 is related to the amount of tissue removed. Conclusion. This study illustrates that breast reduction surgery should be encouraged, besides the known aims, as a preventive operation in those patients presenting degrees of breast hypertrophy and a family history of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-290
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast hypertrophy
  • Breast reduction
  • Gigantomastia
  • Incidental breast cancer finding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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