Sunday, August 17, 2014

Double mastectomy or not?

The latest fashionable breast cancer decision is to have a double mastectomy in a preventive effort. Well there was a super secret twenty year study going on about the benefits of that very same surgery.

Basically what it boils down to is that unless you have the BRCA gene or other hereditary breast cancer, there is no benefit to removing a healthy breast. And the potential complications of the surgery can have a negative effect on the patient.


"Tuttle and his coauthors used published data to develop a model for predicting survival rates over 20 years for women diagnosed with stage I or II cancer at age 40, 50 or 60.

According to the existing data, more than 98 percent of women diagnosed with stage I breast cancer will survive at least 10 years, and 90 percent will survive for 20 years. For stage II breast cancer, 77 percent survive for at least 10 years and 58 percent survive at least 20 years.

For all age groups and tumor types in the study, the risk of developing cancer in the opposite breast after diagnosis was less than one percent each year, the authors wrote in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute."

So this study shows that while some women may want an elective double mastectomy, there is no benefit. I was also pleased to see the ten and twenty year survival rates (which are difficult to find) for stage I and II breast cancer. I am moving away from the five year time frame and starting to think about the ten year time frame and longer. And no I didn't even consider a single or double mastectomy.

1 comment:

Misifusa's Blog said...

I did endure a double mastectomy even though the cancer was only in one breast. 13 years later, I am still grateful for my own intuition and decision. My other breast held calcifications which could have led to cancer ~ something I will never know if I prevented by removing it. A double mastectomy is not for the faint of heart, but then neither is anything associated with cancer. I have had more than 10 surgeries due to the breast cancer and have had to endure many reconstructions as my body didn't like the implants. I think it is a personal decision that must take careful consideration. Talking with others who have endured a double mastectomy helps. I am here if anyone needs help. ♥