Double Mastectomy Becoming More “Popular” With Breast Cancer Sufferers

mastectomyEvery year over two hundred thousand American women are affected by breast cancer, those with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) have an almost 100% ten year survival rate.

Research carried out in the University of Minnesota shows that increasingly women are choosing to have both breasts removed rather than risking the cancer spreading to the other breast.

Todd Tuttle M.D. looked at over fifty thousand patients who had cancer in one of their breasts over a seven year period.

Using the database of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results it was noted that over thirteen percent of sufferers chose to have surgery.

This is despite the fact that DCIS is fairly successfully treated by radiation therapy or hormone treatment. It is only if the cancer is particularly aggressive that the second breast is at risk also.

Tuttle stated that by surgically removing the healthy breast, a patient would not have any benefits regarding prognosis, but despite of this more women and in general younger females were opting to take that route.

In fact, the study showed that the increase in surgery for DCIS patients was nearly 200 per cent between 1998 and 2005. Tuttle, who is an associate professor of oncologic surgery, published his findings recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sponsorship came from the National Cancer Institute, which is increasingly concerned at the choices being taken by women where less invasive treatment is being discarded for the more extreme path of a double mastectomy.