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News2012December › 70 per cent of double mastectomies are unnecessary › December 2012

70 per cent of double mastectomies are unnecessary

Most double mastectomies shouldn't be carried out

Most double mastectomies shouldn't be carried out. Around 70 per cent of the procedures-where both breasts are removed following a diagnosis of breast cancer-are unnecessary as the cancer would never have spread, say researchers.
The number of double mastectomies has been rising over the last few years, and the fault could be with the cancer specialist who is not giving proper advice.
Not surprisingly, 90 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer are frightened the cancer would recur or could spread to the other breast, and so are opting for a double mastectomy.
But there is no evidence to suggest this would happen, say researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Unless there is a strong family history or a genetic profile, a double mastectomy should not be carried out.
(Source: American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium, November 30, 2012).

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