More breast cancer patients opt for double mastectomies

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Despite the lack of evidence suggesting that double mastectomies can improve long-term survival rates for women diagnosed with cancer in one breast, many more women in this position opting for the procedure, according to a study published late last month in the journal Cancer. The analysis, which considered all of the mastectomies performed throughout New York state between 1995 and 2005, found that, though overall mastectomies were down by nearly one third during that period, the number of women diagnosed with cancer in one breast who chose to go through with a double mastectomy more than doubled—from 295 to 683.

In the meantime, though much has been made of women with the breast cancer genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 opting for preemptive mastectomies, the number of cancer-free patients undergoing double mastectomies remained fairly stable during the study period, at about 100 women per year.

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