More breast cancer patients are having both breasts removed instead of just the cancerous one. But studies show it won’t help long-term survival.

Ruled by Fear: Women Flock to Get Double Mastectomies

In All Health Watch, Anti-Aging, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Featured Article by INH Research0 Comments

More breast cancer patients are taking drastic action to cure themselves. Even though they have cancer in only one breast, more women are opting to have their healthy breast removed as well.

They want make absolutely sure the cancer has no chance of coming back. Over the past 10 years, the number of breast cancer patients who decide to remove a cancer-free breast has more than tripled.1

We’re not talking about the procedure made famous by actress Angelina Jolie. She was in a different situation. She never actually had breast cancer. But she underwent a double mastectomy after learning she had a defective BRCA1 gene. This gave her an 87% chance of getting breast cancer in the future. So she had her breasts pre-emptively removed.

Instead, we’re talking about women who already have cancer in one breast but decide to get both breasts removed. The procedure is called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM).

In 2002, 3.9% of breast cancer patients opted for CPM. By 2012, the rate had skyrocketed more than threefold to 12.7%.

Removing a Healthy Breast Doesn’t Boost Survival

More than 90% of women who get CPM say they had the procedure for  the “peace of mind.”2 There’s only one problem…

There’s not a shred of evidence that CPM works.

Studies show that long-term survival of women who have CPM is the same as those who left their healthy breast alone.

A major study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women with CPM have a 10-year survival rate of 81.2%. Women who had a single breast removed had a survival rate of 79.9%. And those getting breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomy) had an 83.2% survival rate.

Researchers said the small differences between the three procedures are statistically insignificant. All three procedures have virtually the same long-term survival rate.

The double mastectomy trend has even hit men. Male breast cancer is rare. There are only about 2,600 new cases a year in the U.S. But the number of men getting CPM nearly doubled between 2004 and 2011, according to a study by the American Cancer Society.3

Double Mastectomy Is Riskier

This is major surgery. It is more disfiguring than a lumpectomy or single mastectomy. It is riskier. Double mastectomy is more than twice as likely as a single mastectomy to require a blood transfusion. The hospital stay will be longer. And the chance is greater that a follow-up surgery will be required.4

The fact is, too many women with breast cancer are sacrificing too many healthy breasts for no good reason.

Unfortunately, many surgeons are only too willing to exploit women’s fears by giving them a double mastectomy when a less invasive procedure is just as effective. In some clinics, as many as 25% of patients opt for CPM.

If someone you know has breast cancer, make sure they know the facts about double mastectomies.

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But here’s what you won’t read about in the mainstream’s coverage of his shocking recovery… You can mimic the effects without taking a single drug. And for a fraction of the price.

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In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Executive Director, INH Health Watch

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References:
1http://www.hngn.com/articles/187995/20160312/double-mastectomy-procedures-tripled-past-decade-study.htm
2http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterubel/2016/04/21/is-it-rational-for-breast-cancer-patients-to-have-bilateral-mastectomies/2/#6433f1cb5885
3http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/850418
4http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/831136

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