According a a recent AP article by Lindsey Tanner, a double mastectomy (removal of both breasts) as treatment for breast cancer does not increase chances of survival. Many women are choosing to undergo double mastectomies as opposed to a lumpectomy + radiation therapy. Some key points of the study include:
- A double mastectomy is an increasingly frequent treatment that is both expensive and risky
- 10-year survival rates of lumpectomies + radiation compared to double mastectomies were almost identical (~82%).
- Other studies have shown that patients with strong genetic inheritance factors may still have improved survival outcomes with double mastectomy treatment.
With the rising frequency of women undergoing double mastectomies, this is definitely a topic that needs further investigation. It actually reminds my of a book I read that discussed the widespread use of radical mastectomies before it was realized that a radical mastectomy was an unnecessarily extensive treatment that yielded no improvement in outcome. I suggest others take a look into the history of breast cancer treatment after reading this interesting article.