Mayo Clinic breast cancer surgeons regularly participate in research activities designed to improve patient care.

Areas of research include:

  • Improving care for people with a high risk of breast cancer. Mayo Clinic researchers found nipple-sparing mastectomy to be safe for women with BRCA gene mutations undergoing prophylactic mastectomy.
  • Reducing the risk of mastectomy complications. Researchers are working to understand who faces a risk of lymphedema after surgery to remove the lymph nodes and devising ways to reduce this risk through innovative surgical techniques and neoadjuvant therapies.
  • Relieving pain after mastectomy. Pain control techniques before, during and after mastectomy are reducing the need for strong pain medications during recovery. These innovations make procedures that are more likely to cause postoperative pain, such as bilateral mastectomy and mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, more comfortable.
  • Understanding how breast cancer develops. Researchers are working to understand the conditions under which breast cancer begins to develop, including understanding the unique microorganisms present within the breast (breast microbiome). These investigations may yield data that can help prevent breast cancer or devise the most effective treatments.
  • Personalizing breast cancer treatments. Researchers are working on the latest treatments that take into account your genes and the particular genes of your cancer cells to offer personalized medicine for breast cancer. Examples include discovering new biomarkers for targeted drug therapy and engineering vaccines to prevent breast cancer recurrence.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of a handful of U.S. facilities that received a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for breast cancer research.


See a list of publications on breast cancer surgery by Mayo Clinic doctors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.