Double Mastectomy May Not Increase Life Expectancy After Breast Cancer


Women with early-stage breast cancer in one breast are increasingly opting for double mastectomies. But according to new research, having the healthy breast removed may be pointless, as it will not have an impact on their survival rate.

The study looked at the decision-making process that leads women to choose a double mastectomy or contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM). The rate of CPM among women with early-stage breast cancer has more than doubled in the last 10 years, because women fear that having cancer in one breast will mean they have an increased risk of contracting cancer in the other. However, researchers found that it didn’t really have a survival benefit unless they’ve tested positive for one of the BRCA mutations, like Angelina Jolie has.

In related news, there is currently a lot of confusion when it comes to whether BRCA carriers should have just their ovaries removed, or have a complete hysterectomy, as there is conflicting evidence as to whether or not they are at an increased risk for uterine cancer.

Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy may not significantly increase life expectancy [Medical Xpress]
Weighing Surgeries in Light of a Breast Cancer Gene [NYT]

Image via Samuel Micut/Shutterstock

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