One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A surgical operation to remove a breast.
- ‘The authors recommend their large-tissue-section approach for routine handling of all breast excisions and mastectomies.’
- ‘A proportion of patients who have a mastectomy are advised to undergo radiotherapy to reduce the risk of local recurrence.’
- ‘There are sports bras, nursing bras, bras designed to take prosthetic breasts for women who have undergone mastectomies.’
- ‘It may be possible for women who have had a mastectomy to have reconstructive surgery without the use of implants.’
- ‘Reconstruction can be done in the same operation as the mastectomy, and may be more successful if it's done straight away.’
1920s: from Greek mastos ‘breast’ + -ectomy.
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