For Cancer in One Breast
Double mastectomy rates, especially among young women, have risen sharply for those with early-stage cancer in one breast finds a new national study of 1.2 million patients. Doctors say more women are choosing double mastectomy even though other studies have shown that it doesn’t improve the chances of survival for women at average risk of recurrence. “Many women are making this decision out of fear and anxiety and not fully understanding the true risks and benefits,” said oncologist Ann Partridge, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who wasn’t involved in the study from Vanderbilt University. The study didn’t give data on how many patients carried the BRCA gene that significantly raises the risk of recurrence but did note that rates of women choosing reconstructive surgery also rose sharply.