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.
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.
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
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.