Mastectomies Before the Cancer

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Seventeen years ago Delores Brown was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's beaten the disease and since then has been cancer free and is making sure the women in her family stay that way as well.

Brown said, "I have a daughter and she went through getting a mammogram and had a lump removed. It was just a cyst, she was 29. We do have to be careful with her and she has a daughter."

So to try and break the cycle, doctors say some women are doing more than mammograms; they're getting double mastectomies even when there is no sign of cancer.

Dr. John Cascone is a surgeon and said, "It's when someone has an incredibly high risk for breast cancer, essentially the mastectomies are performed without a tissue diagnosis of breast cancer."

Thomasville resident Vickie Jackson says her best friend lost her sister to breast cancer and took advantage of the radical surgery.

Jackson said, "She's had mammograms and they noticed changes and so because it had happened to a sister, she chose to have both breasts removed."

Doctors say this is a radical procedure and only suggested for women who are considered at high risk for the disease due to a strong family history of breast cancer. Doctors say it's not a decision to be taken lightly and should be thoroughly discussed with your surgeon.

Another procedure women are considering is removing their ovaries to prevent ovarian cancer.