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Breast cancer patients with bilateral mastectomy don't have better survival rates
Date:9/2/2014

astectomy among all patients in the study increased from 2 to 12.3 percent during the same time period.)

In contrast, racial or ethnic minorities and women with public insurance, such as Medicaid, were more likely to receive a unilateral mastectomy.

Kurian and Gomez emphasize that the study's findings don't mean that a woman with a BRCA1, BRCA2 or other gene mutation known to significantly increase the risk of developing breast cancer, or with a strong family history of breast cancer, should not get a bilateral mastectomy. A genetic predisposition may mean that removing both breasts is an effective option.

There are also other reasons why a woman might choose a bilateral mastectomy. Some newer breast-reconstruction methods achieve better symmetry when both breasts are reconstructed simultaneously. Removal of both breasts may also alleviate a woman's fear and worry that a second cancer will occur in her remaining breast, the researchers said.

"We're hopeful that this study will open a dialogue between a patient and her physician to discuss these kinds of questions," said Gomez. "It's an important piece of evidence that can guide their decision-making process."


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Contact: Krista Conger
kristac@stanford.edu
650-725-5371
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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