Studies indicate that in the US more and more women diagnosed with breast cancer use double mastectomies even if they do not need them. Those who have early-stage cancer and have only one breast affected are more likely to undergo a double mastectomy. Nevertheless, this depends on the state they live in. For instance, between 2010 and 2012, 15% of women with ages between 20 and 44 who were diagnosed with cancer in one breast decided to have double mastectomies in the District of Columbia.
Even if they have breast cancer in one breast, some choose for double mastectomies
In these, in South Dakota, 49% of breast cancer patients chose to have their both breasts removed when they had only one of them affected by cancer. Ahmedin Jemal, of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta and also the senior author of this study, stated that these variations are dramatic. Scientists argue that removing both breasts when suffering from cancer in one breast does not help at all.
In 2016, the American Society of Breast Surgeons released a statement to discourage unilateral breast cancer patients who do not have a family risk to quit undergoing double mastectomies. Nevertheless, Jemal together with his team released a study in JAMA Surgery where they revealed that there is an increase in the number of double mastectomies or contralateral mastectomies in women with early stage cancer.
The statistics show that the number of breast cancer patients who chose to undergo contralateral mastectomies increased
Dr. Laurie Kirstein, a breast surgical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, claimed that women who presented an average risk of developing cancer and those who had unilateral breast cancer, do not diminish the risk of cancer if they decide to remove both breasts. Researchers looked at information gathered between 2004 and 2012 from over 1.2 million women who were diagnosed with early stage cancer in one breast.
Scientists needed to establish whether there are some trends across states. Thus, they determined that the proportion of such patients with ages between 20 and 44 who chose double mastectomies increased from 11% to 33%. Over the same time span, the proportion of women with cancer in one breast aged 45 or older who underwent contralateral mastectomies increased from 4% to 10%.
Between 2010 and 2012, over 40% of women between 20 and 44 who lived in Montana, Maine, Tennessee, Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Iowa and South Dakota decided to remove both breasts when they were diagnosed with cancer in one breast.
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