Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

Prophylactic surgery is surgery performed in anticipation of the onset of a particular disease or condition in the organ or area of the body removed. Prophylactic surgery has been used by women with a family predisposition to breast cancer. Women in these instances may choose to have a mastectomy believing that their odds of getting breast cancer are unacceptably high.

PROPHYLACTIC SURGERY: "After careful consideration and speaking with her family Karen made the painful decision to have a radical mastectomy."

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