Women with early-stage breast cancer increasingly having double mastectomies

April 10th, 2009 - 4:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, April 10 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that more and more women, diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer, are choosing to have both breasts surgically removed.

Dr. Todd Tuttle, an associate professor of Oncologic Surgery, has observed that the rate of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) surgery among U.S. women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) increased by 188 percent between 1998 and 2005.

“The 10-year survival rate for women with DCIS is 98 to 99 percent. Therefore, removal of the normal contralateral breast will not improve the excellent survival rates for this group of women. Nevertheless, many women, particularly young women, are choosing to have both breasts removed,” Tuttle said.

A previous study conducted by Tuttle and his colleagues found more American women choosing to have both breasts removed when cancer has been found in only one breast.

He says that his new study indicates the same attitude among women with DCIS, described as the earliest stage of breast cancer when the cancer is small and confined within a duct area of the breast.

At this stage, the disease is considered highly treatable with breast-conserving surgery and radiation or hormone therapy, points out the researcher.

Tuttle and his colleagues used the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database to evaluate information about 51,030 women diagnosed with DCIS in one breast between 1988 and 2005.

The researchers observed that about 13.5 percent of the women chose breast removal surgery for their DCIS treatment.

According to them, the rate of women opting for the surgery increased by 188 percent between 1998 and 2005.

The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. (ANI)

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