(Reuters Health) – Women with cancer in one breast may opt to have both breasts removed even though a double mastectomy isn’t always linked to better survival odds, a recent study suggests.
Researchers analyzed survey data from women with early-stage cancer in one breast and found 17 percent had both breasts surgically removed as part of treatment.
“For most women with breast cancer, who do not have an inherited genetic mutation that predisposes them to a high risk of cancer formation, the risk of developing a second breast cancer in the other breast is actually quite low,” said lead study author Dr. Reshma Jagsi of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
“Removing the other breast is an extremely aggressive approach with little benefit for most women with breast cancer,” Jagsi added by email. “Yet most women tell us that they pursue this option for peace of mind; to me, this suggests that at least some women have not been fully informed.”