Study finds preventative mastectomies are on the rise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Study finds preventative mastectomies are on the rise

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More women are choosing to undergo a preventive mastectomy, despite a lack of evidence that it will help them live longer. This new finding is the result of a study led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and published in Annals of Surgery recently.

Data from the study shows mastectomy rates for a healthy breast tripled from 2002 to 2012. However, these women had no significant improvement in survival, compared to patients who chose breast conservation therapy. 

Researchers say women at high risk of breast cancer could benefit from preventive mastectomy -- but two-thirds of women undergoing the procedure are at low risk for developing cancer in the unaffected breast. 

Patients and doctors should weigh the potential benefits with the risks of preventive mastectomy -- including recovery time, cost and effects on self-image.

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