Worried Patients May Choose Unnecessary Double-Mastectomy

The survey, conducted at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and published in the Annals of Surgery, found that half of women with cancer in 1 breast are interested in removing their healthy breast to avoid a second cancer.

Half of women with cancer in 1 breast - but no gene mutations that increase their risk - are interested in removing their healthy breast to avoid a second cancer there, a small survey finds.

Women with less cancer knowledge and greater worry about developing a new tumor were most likely to want the preventive removal of the healthy breast. But after talking to their surgeons, only 10% went ahead with the procedure. “There have been numerous public figures that have talked about their experiences with prophylactic surgery,” said lead author Patricia A. Parker, a behavioral researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

“It is important for women to know that their risk factors for getting a cancer in the other breast may not be the same as these women and that the chances of a recurrence of the primary breast cancer are more likely than developing a new cancer in the other breast,” Parker told Reuters Health by email.

Read the complete article on Reuters: http://reut.rs/1EhebWA