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Healthy Women Having Their Breasts Removed

Healthy Women Having Their Breasts Removed

According to a new study conducted in The Netherlands, most young women whose families have multiple cases of breast cancer choose to be tested for the BRCA gene mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer, and over half who carry the mutations choose to have their healthy breasts removed.

The 51% rate of mastectomy in the study is very high, but it might partly reflect the fact that all of the women included in the study were from families with a known, high incidence of rapidly progressive breast cancer.

Among those women with children and a high risk for carrying a mutation, 83% of those under age 50 chose to be tested, as did 40% of those over 50. The younger mothers were also much more likely to choose to have their breasts removed "prophylactically".

This surgery was standard bilateral simple mastectomy (including the nipple), and was done with simultaneous breast reconstruction on request.

This surgery has been shown by researchers at the Mayo Clinic to produce a 91% risk reduction in second breast cancers in premenopausal women with a family history of breast cancer.

Lancet 2000; 355: 2015 - 2020.

Reprinted from:

The Breast Cancer Awareness Month Story  Oct 03 2002
New concerns over breast screening  Sep 25 2002
When Healing Becomes a Crime  Jul 29 2002
Fish Oil Reduces Breast Cancer  Jun 08 2002
Most Women Satisfied With Having Their Healthy Breasts Removed  May 28 2002
Insulin and Estrogen linked to Breast Cancer  May 28 2002
Hormone Replacement Casually Related to Breast Cancer  May 28 2002
Pesticides Increase Breast Cancer Risk  May 28 2002
Healthy Women Having Their Breasts Removed  May 28 2002
Unnecessary Mastectomies  May 28 2002
Do Killer Microbes Cause Breast Cancer?  May 15 2002

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