Many Women Choose Double Mastectomy to Avoid Breast Cancer Recurrence But Study Says it May Not be Needed
Being diagnosed with breast cancer forever changes an individual’s life. Each diagnosed person is faced with personal and emotional decisions such as choosing a treatment plan, if they will have a mastectomy, or breast reconstruction surgery.
Many breast cancer patients are choosing to have a double mastectomy, despite having cancer in only one breast. A new study conducted by the University of Michigan, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology has found removing most women’s other healthy breast did not improve their survival rate.
The researchers analyzed 1,400 women with breast cancer who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer. According to the findings of the study, 70% of women who opted to have bilateral mastectomy (the removal of both breasts) did not have risk factors such as the inherited BRCA gene mutations or a strong family history of the disease.
Women are increasingly opting to have both their affected and healthy breasts removed in fear of breast cancer recurrence. However, the risk of developing cancer in the healthy breast is relatively low. Dr. Carla Fisher, a breast surgeon with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania stated, “The risk of recurrence on the breast that had cancer, or cancer coming back elsewhere in the body from that initial cancer, is much higher than the risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast.”
However, many patients without the risk factors may opt for a bilateral mastectomy due to the recommended continued monitoring, mammograms, MRIs and even biopsies they will go through if the other breast is left.
For over 25 years, board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Franklyn Elliott, has specialized in reconstructive breast surgery and understands the concerns women may have about their appearance when undergoing a mastectomy. Dr. Elliott uses the latest reconstructive techniques to ensure the most natural reconstructive results for breast cancer patients.
If you are interested in finding out more information about breast reconstruction options, please call our office today to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to follow Dr. Elliott on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + for the latest reconstructive and cosmetic breast information and news.