A new study has found that women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t need to undergo double mastectomy.
According to the researchers, the surgery does not increase survival in most women with breast cancer. Moreover, it is typically recommended for about 10 percent of women considered at high risk for breast cancer.
The researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center observed 1,447 newly-diagnosed women in the Los Angeles and Detroit who had been treated for cancer in one breast. Notably, these women had not had a cancer recurrence in the other breast.
They reviewed the information over a 20-month period ending in February 2007 and for eight months ending in February 2010.
Eight percent of the participants involved in the study had a double mastectomy and 18 percent considered having one.
“Women appear to be using worry over cancer recurrence to choose contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. This does not make sense, because having a non-affected breast removed will not reduce the risk of recurrence in the affected breast,” said lead author Sarah Hawley, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School.
The researchers discovered that about 70 percent of the participants who opted for the double mastectomy – also called a bilateral mastectomy or, in clinical terms, a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy – didn’t have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. Also they didn’t test positive for the mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes that would have put them at higher risk for a cancer recurrence in the healthy breast. According to the researchers, there is no survival advantage in having a double mastectomy for women without those risk factors.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in three will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime in the US as an estimated 27,060 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur in 2013.
Scientists say, it is the second most common cause of cancer death among black women after the lung cancer.
Notably, black women are less likely than white women to develop breast cancer, but ironically, their death rate is 41 percent higher, according to the American Cancer Society.
Less than 10 percent women accurately estimates breast cancer risk: Survey
Breast cancers are becoming common disease now-a-days. A survey says fewer than 10% of women accurately estimate their risk of breast cancer.
A survey of 10,000 women showed that women usually fail to accurately measure the symptoms as they are equally likely to overestimate or underestimate the risk of the disease.
Compared with estimates derived from validated risk formulas, 9.4% of the women provided estimates that were in line with the calculated risk. About 45% of the remaining participates underestimated their risk and 46% overestimated the risk.
Follow these tips to reduce breast cancer risk
• Avoid weight gain and obesity
• Engage in regular physical activity
• Minimize alcohol intake
• Eat healthy
• Don’t smoke
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.