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Some Experts Say Preventive Double Mastectomies are Futile


Posted on May 23, 2014

Countless women across the United States have gotten preventative double mastectomies in the past couple of years. The numbers of women getting these surgeries began to rise when popular figures such as Angelina Jolie opted for this surgery. But some experts are saying that the surgery is superfluous for many.

CBS news reports on the futility of preventative double mastectomies.

Many researchers and doctors are saying that preventative double mastectomies are not as helpful in preventing cancer as the people who get them think they are, or these women do not even need them to begin with.

CBS explains, “Most breast cancer patients who opt for prophylactic mastectomy -- surgery to remove their healthy breast as a precaution -- are actually at very low risk for breast cancer recurrence. A new study, published today in JAMA Surgery, found that as many as 70 percent of women who opt for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy -- removing both the cancerous and normal breast -- don't actually need it because their chance for developing the disease again is quite low.”

Many physicians are saying that some oncologists and other doctors need to do a more thorough job of explaining to these women what the actual consequences and pros/cons of getting a double mastectomy actually are.

Dr. King from the esteemed Sloan Kettering Cancer Center told CBS, “When you receive a breast cancer diagnosis it's obviously a very emotional and anxiety-provoking time. And the decision about what kind of surgery you're going to have is the first decision women have to make. They want to choose the surgical procedure that they think gives them the lowest possibility of recurrence and the greatest chance of surviving their breast cancer. But...when we tell them that removing their normal breast won't make them live longer and there is no survival benefit, there's a disconnect. It's not always guaranteed that the choice you make to remove both breasts is really going to make you feel as good as you think it might at the time that you're making that decision.”

 

 

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