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Study Reveals: Double Mastectomy May Not Be Required For Most Women!
- Updated: May 22, 2014
In a new study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that most women opt to remove both their breasts or undergo double mastectomy, after detection of a breast cancer in one of them. Unfortunately more than 70% of women, who do so, may have very low risk of developing cancer in their healthy breast.
In the study led by Dr. Sarah Hawley, an associate professor and her team, have analyzed data from 1,447 women who had been treated for breast cancer and who did not have a disease recurrence. Out of them, 8% of women did undergo double mastectomy and 18% of them had thought of undergoing one. The general feedback that the team gathered was 75% women are usually anxious of the fact that they might get cancer all over again, and had opted or wish to opt for double mastectomy, even when it is not needed.
The research team points out that likelihood of developing breast cancer in the healthy breast does not increase if the patient had cancer earlier. Women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, and one with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, are usually advised to undergo double mastectomy in order to reduce their chances of developing breast cancer in the healthier breast.
Dr. Hawley has correctly figured the current situation and added, “Women appear to be using worry over cancer recurrence to choose contra lateral prophylactic mastectomy. This does not make sense, because having a non-affected breast removed will not reduce the risk of recurrence in the affected breast.”
The research team feels that women have to understand the associated risks and benefits of surgery to remove both breasts, as well as it is the responsibility of surgeons to make patients aware of their situation, before they take a decision based on anxiety and stress. The research team has published their findings in the journal JAMA Surgery.