Skip to main content
• Social Media: Connect with UsAccessibility  |  About  |  Contact  |  Privacy  |  Terms

More Women Removing Healthy Breast After Cancer Diagnosis

  • Published: 2009-09-28 (Revised/Updated 2016-03-14) : American Cancer Society.
  • Synopsis: Number of women opting for surgery to remove healthy breast after cancer diagnosis in breast is rising.

Main Document

Quote: "The researchers found that the number of prophylactic mastectomies increased during the time period, particularly among women with cancer in one breast."

The number of women opting for surgery to remove the healthy breast after a cancer diagnosis in one breast is rising, despite a lack of evidence that the surgery can improve survival. The study also finds that despite extensive press coverage of women who choose to have both breasts removed because of a strong family history of cancer, the rate of this surgery is relatively low and has changed little in the last decade.

More women choosing to remove healthy breast after cancer diagnosis

A new study of New York State data finds that the number of women opting for surgery to remove the healthy breast after a cancer diagnosis in one breast is rising, despite a lack of evidence that the surgery can improve survival. The study also finds that despite extensive press coverage of women who choose to have both breasts removed because of a strong family history of cancer, the rate of this surgery is relatively low and has changed little in the last decade. The study appears in Cancer , a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Prophylactic mastectomy, the removal of a noncancerous breast, is one method for reducing a woman's risk of developing breast cancer; however, there is little information available on the prevalence of prophylactic mastectomies for preventing breast cancer among high-risk women or on the prevalence of the surgery to prevent tumors in the healthy breast among women whose cancer is limited to one breast.

Researchers led by Stephen B. Edge, M.D., FACS, of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY, examined the frequency of prophylactic mastectomies in New York State between 1995 and 2005 using mandated statewide hospital discharge data combined with data from the state cancer registry. They identified 6,275 female New York residents who underwent prophylactic mastectomies. Eighty-one percent of the women had been diagnosed with cancer in one breast, while 19 percent had no personal history of breast cancer.

The researchers found that the number of prophylactic mastectomies increased during the time period, particularly among women with cancer in one breast. Over the 11-year study period, the prevalence of these contra-lateral mastectomies more than doubled. The prevalence of bilateral prophylactic mastectomies among women with no personal history of breast cancer increased only slightly.

"These data from New York are the only data on a large population of women that examine the use of bilateral prophylactic mastectomy," said Dr. Edge. "These data demonstrate that prophylactic mastectomy is an uncommon procedure that is performed most commonly on women with a personal history of breast cancer. Although the total number of prophylactic mastectomies performed per year was small, it appears that the use of the surgery is increasing." In addition, he noted that women with breast cancer should have careful counseling regarding benefits and risks before proceeding with prophylactic mastectomy of the other breast.

Article: "Surveillance of prophylactic mastectomy: Trends in Use from 1995-2005." Colleen C. McLaughlin, Patricia P. Lillquist, and Stephen B. Edge. Cancer ; Published Online: September 28, 2009 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.24623); Print Issue Date: December 1, 2009.

Similar Topics

1 - 21-Gene Assay - Are Oncologists Jumping the Gun? - National Comprehensive Cancer Network.
2 - Prophylactic Mastectomy Tripled Over Past Decade - Despite No Survival Benefit - Brigham and Women's Hospital.
3 - Mastectomy: Types & Postoperative Surgery Information - Thomas C. Weiss.
4 - Clinical Trial of Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise - Washington University School of Medicine.
5 - Breast Thermography Not a Substitute for Mammography Says FDA - U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
From our Breast section - Full List (57 Items)

Submit disability news, coming events, as well as assistive technology product news and reviews.


Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.


Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.


List of awareness ribbon colors and their meaning. Also see our calendar of awareness dates.


Blood Pressure Chart - What should your blood pressure be, and information on blood group types/compatibility.



1 - DIVAS Rule the Runway at The Woodlands
2 - Ultra-thin Optical Fibers Provide Way to Print 3D Microstructures
3 - Brain Imaging Predicts Language Learning in Deaf Children
4 - Asthma Costs US Economy Over $80 Billion a Year
5 - Synthesized Nanoparticle-Antioxidants to Treat SCI and Stroke



Citation


Disclaimer: This site does not employ and is not overseen by medical professionals. Content on Disabled World is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. See our Terms of Service for more information.

Reporting Errors: Disabled World is an independent website, your assistance in reporting outdated or inaccurate information is appreciated. If you find an error please let us know.