Breast reduction and cancer: State of the art and future trends

Beniamino Palmieri, Alberto Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature on extra-aesthetic aims of breast reduction surgery recently focussed on the functional effect and the correction of both physical and psychological symptoms. The problem of cancer in the long-term post-surgical follow-up is an intriguing issue. In the last 20 years some studies both on animals and humans have addressed the relationship between the amount of tissue removed and cancerogenesis of the remnant gland. We present a clinical review of published papers outlining the future trends of breast reduction procedures from an oncological perspective. 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. 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)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Breast cancer
  • Breast reduction
  • Incidental breast cancer finding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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