Most breast cancer patients who get preventive double mastectomy don't need it

May 21, 2014 11:09 PM

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Most breast cancer patients who get preventive double mastectomy don't need it

Most breast cancer patients who opt for prophylactic mastectomy -- surgery to remove their healthy breast as a precaution -- are actually at very low risk for breast cancer recurrence. A new study, published today in JAMA Surgery, found that as many as 70 percent of women who opt for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy -- removing both the cancerous and normal breast -- don't actually need it because their chance for developing the disease again is quite low.

The paper, from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, indicates a growing trend in the surgical over-treatment of breast cancer.

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