Does survival rate increase if both breasts are removed, even though the breast cancer can only be found in one breast? Understandably, this is a question which may cross the minds of many women who are dealing with breast cancer.
I remember one of the very first breast cancer calls I fielded. The caller had watched one of my videos on YouTube and wanted to reach out to me to tell her story. Her main concern was the fear, a fear that she said kept her up at night. A fear that made her try to understand the unknown. Even though she was dealing with breast cancer in one breast, the question still remained should she have both removed? Her story is not one in isolation.
According to news reports, a study here in the US has looked at the data in breast cancer cases to see what the numbers reveal when a woman who has cancer in only one breast, and the cancer has not moved to other parts of the body, decides to have the second breast removed, even though it is cancer free. The study looked at half a million women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) statistics reveal that outside of certain skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. Breast cancer does not play favorites between races or nationalities either. In 2012, the latest year for statistics on the issue, 224,147 women developed breast cancer and 2,125 men were diagnosed.
Data in the US study showed that the removal of the healthy breast (contralateral prophylactic mastectomy) rose from 4% in 2002 to almost 13% in 2012. With that said, researchers say that the chance of survival for the women who decided to have the healthy breast removed was no different than the women who just opted to have the affected breast or tumor removed.
Because these types of issues are so important, it is imperative that a decision like this is made with the help of medical professionals and family, as the patient is the one who ultimately has to make the best decision for their individual situation.
To read more about the actual study and the information in support of this post click HERE.