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  • Little Value from Prophylactic Mastectomy

    Posted 10/9/2013 by hhill
      I have written many times about the rising choice of prophylactic mastectomies for women who are also offered the option of lesser surgery. Note: the situation of women who carry a genetic mutation, BRCA1 or BRCA2, is obviously different. We are thinking here about women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, told by a surgeon that a lumpectomy/wide excision and radiation is an equally effective treatment, and who opt for either one or even two mastectomies. No matter what else is said, it is clear that these women believe that they are increasing their chances to stay healthy by having more surgery. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Prophylactic Mastectomies

    Posted 5/9/2013 by hhill
      I have written before about the increasing incidence of prophylactic bilateral mastectomies for women with early breast cancer who "only" need surgery on one side. It is terrifying to hear the cancer word, and most of us are frantic to do whatever we can to protect ourselves now and to insure our future good health. For some women, that translates to a strong wish to "get rid" of the other breast, a possible source of another crisis in the future. It may not be soothing to be told that the future risk of a second cancer in the other breast is very small, about 1% per year, and that breast cancer almost never goes to the other breast. The worries of cancer spreading are that it might metastisize to another part of the body; removing the second breast does nothing to minimize that risk. Read more... Comments (0)

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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