More Women With Breast Cancer Opt to Remove Healthy Breast
"One in three breast cancer patients under 45 removed the healthy breast along with the breast affected by cancer in 2012, a sharp increase from the one in 10 younger women with breast cancer who had double mastectomies eight years earlier, a new study reports.
The rate is especially high in some parts of the country, the study in JAMA Surgery found. Nearly half of younger women in five neighboring states — Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa and South Dakota — had double mastectomies in 2010-12. Women often remove the healthy breast so they don’t have to worry about developing another cancer, even though there is no evidence that removing the healthy breast extends lives.
Both the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Society of Breast Surgeons recommend against the practice, called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, unless a woman is at unusually high risk for a new cancer because of a condition like increased genetic risk, such as a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes."
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Article written by Roni Caryn Rabin for the New York Times.
(Photo credit: Stuart Bradford)