This frightening statistic comes from a study conducted by researchers who collaborated to for the study to be presented at the Quality Care Symposium of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Researchers involved came from the University of Michigan, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the University of Southern California and Wayne State University, and funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute.
Around the world breast cancer accounts for 23 percent of all women’s cancers and 14 percent of all women’s cancer deaths so naturally women who have a high risk want to do all they can to be proactive in avoiding the disease. However the study has revealed that a massive 70 percent of breast cancer patients who undergo a double mastectomy do not actually need the procedure. cancer in the United States this year, and the disease will cause 39,920 deaths.
A double mastectomy is a highly aggressive procedure that has raised many concerns from both health professionals and women’s health groups. This recent study involved interviewing 1,446 women who had been successfully treated for breast cancer without experiencing recurrence. They examined the types of treatment received, as well as at the patients’ clinical indications for double mastectomy. They found that among women who underwent a mastectomy, almost 20 percent had both breasts removed. Seven percent of all of the women in the study had a double mastectomy.
Is it really necessary?
However, in the vast majority of cases, being diagnosed with cancer in one breast is not correlated with an increased risk of cancer in the other breast. 90 percent of women who had undergone a double mastectomy said that they had been very worried about the possibility of recurrence. Yet, according to the researchers’ assessment of the actual risk of recurrence, a full 70 percent of women who underwent contralateral prophylactic mastectomy had done so without good cause. You can well understand a woman’s concern, but it is not borne out by these statistics.
There are cases where it is recommended and may be necessary and these are women in whom cancer in a single breast is associated with a risk of cancer in the other breast because they have either a history of breast or ovarian cancer in two or more immediate family members, or with a specific mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
The researchers believe that for women who do not have a strong family history or a genetic finding, it’s probably not appropriate to get the unaffected breast removed. One reason for this is that the physical and emotional impact of removing both breasts rather than just one is associated with significantly more complications and a more difficult recovery than a single mastectomy.
What can you do?
If you know you are vulnerable to breast cancer then clearly you want to do all you can to reduce your risk. Oestrogen dominance is known to be a factor as excess oestrogen is linked to breast cancer so start by examining your medication and your diet. Are you taking the Pill or HRT? If yes, then just to be aware that both the oestrogen and synthetic progestins they contain have both been linked to increased risk.
Look for ways to keep your hormones in balance and adopt lifestyle changes that will reduce your oestrogen intake from dietary items such as soy and non organic meats.
Bioidentical natural progesterone will help reduce that risk and is also perfectly safe for women to use as it not only protective against breast cancer but a sensible precaution after chemotherapy as well.