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Double Mastectomy or Not

16 Apr

A friend of mine sent this article to me awhile back. He was staying in Palm Springs. I read through the content recently. It was in my pile of mail.

More women are choosing double mastectomy to reduce their life’s fate. The article was the rate of prophylactic or preventive mastectomy among U.S. women with breast cancer and how it rose by 150 percent from the late 1990′s to the mid 2000′s. This was from a study done by Tuttle published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It showed that 1.8 percent of the women with cancer had a double mastectomy in 1998. The percent rose to 4.5 percent in 2003.

They have been collecting data on this subject for 10 years. More patients are asking about preventative treatment. The reason being that 1 in 8 women get breast cancer which is roughly 12%.

Those women who have the harmful mutation or tumor suppressors are more than double the risk, especially when family members have the disease  Those most often to get the mastectomy are young women. Women just want to not go through this again.

Supposedly there is no medical evidence that a bilateral mastectomy increases your survival rate. This study was presented at the Society of Surgical Oncology outside of Washington DC. Ten comprehensive cancer centers across the United States tracked 8,353 patients from 1998-2007.  In the end there was no difference between the two groups.

(My opinion: I think the exception is genetic breast cancer whereas women have a double mastectomy and often have their ovaries removed. I am not finding much about this topic in the article.)

Having one or two breasts removed is a personal decision for every woman.

A double mastectomy is a four hour surgery and breast conserving is a one hour surgery.  A lumpectomy can have a higher infection and bleeding rate the article stated. Then there are those who have to have the surgery again and again who  do not have clear margins. That is unless they go to the Mayo Clinic where they can have it done all at one time. The lab at the Mayo checks the results immediately.

One breasted woman? Two breasted woman? Lumpectomy? Many lumpectomies?

 

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