Study Finds Misperceptions About Impact of Double Mastectomy
A survey of women with breast cancer found that nearly half considered having a double mastectomy. But of those who considered it, only 37 percent knew that the more aggressive procedure does not improve survival for women with breast cancer.
Among women who received a double mastectomy, 36 percent believed it would improve their survival. Studies have shown that for women at average risk of a second cancer, removing the unaffected breast does not meaningfully improve survival.
The study, which was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, looked at 1,949 women who had been treated for breast cancer. About 20 percent of the women surveyed had both breasts removed, a procedure called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Even among patients without a genetic mutation or family history that might put them at risk of developing cancer in the other breast, 19 percent had double mastectomy.