More women having both breasts removed

Breast is one of the precious part that women have. But a new research found that more women who have cancer in only one breast are getting both breasts removed. And all these happened in six years. While it's still a rare option, most breast cancer in U.S is treated by lumpectomy, removing just the tumor while saving the breast.

But the new study suggests 4.5 percent of breast cancer surgery in 2003 involved women getting cancerous and healthy breasts simultaneously removed, a 150 percent increase from 1998 - with no sign that the trend was slowing.

Researchers reported on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, young women are most likely to choose the aggressive operation. The concern is whether they're choosing in the heat of the moment - breast cancer surgery often is within two weeks of diagnosis - or with good understanding of its pros and cons.

"Are these realistic decisions or not?'' asks Dr. Todd Tuttle, cancer surgery chief at the University of Minnesota, who led the study after more women sought the option in his own hospital.

"I'm afraid that women believe having their opposite breast removed is somehow going to improve their breast cancer survival. In fact, it probably will not affect their survival,'' he said.

The American Cancer Society estimates 178,480 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. About 40,460 will die of it.

Some women at high risk, because of notorious breast cancer genes or family history, choose preventive mastectomies before cancer ever strikes.

Adapted from Msnbc health news



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