"The rate for women choosing to remove both breasts when only one has cancer jumped from 6.7% in 1997 to 24% in 2005,..."
"About 70% of women in the United States who have both breasts removed after a cancer diagnosis don't have a proven medical reason for undergoing the procedure,..."
So why are we doing this? Lots of reasons:
- Implants have fewer problems than in the past.
- Plastic surgery has had many advances.
- We want it now mentality.
- The overly hyped awareness of breast cancer
Pinkification has also caused more awareness and availability of information.
"A growing awareness of breast cancer survivorship makes undergoing mastectomy not as foreign or frightening as perhaps it once was. An online search shows a seemingly limitless number of breast cancer support groups, with a growing collection dedicated to women considering preventive surgery.
Dr. Mark Sultan, chief of the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery at St. Luke's/Roosevelt and Beth Israel Medical Centers in New York, said he's seen a 20% increase in five years of high-risk, yet cancer-free women coming to his office seeking mastectomies.
These patients often arrive telling him what kind of surgery they want because they've read about certain procedures online, and in many cases, they've viewed hundreds of before-and-after photos as well."
These are examples of how the world of medicine and being a patient is changing. But maybe we are overdoing it. A double mastectomy is not a minor surgery. I have heard of women being in surgery for 10 or 12 hours with multiple surgeons and months of recovery. Never mind the problems of lymphedema and other risks in the future.
I think I would prefer to keep my body as intact as possible if I possibly can.