Recent Study Outlines Risk Factors Regarding Preventive Mastectomy

by: cancercompass

More women with breast cancer are choosing to have preventive mastectomies that remove the opposite, unaffected breast, reports USA Today.

Authors of a recent study conducted by M.D. Anderson Cancer Center say these women are making a reasonable decision because tumors in the healthy breast may go undetected, according to the news article.

The M.D. Anderson study, which was published this month in Cancer, followed 542 women over a 7 year period. Of those women, the 25 who opted for preventive mastectomies had cancer in the removed breast.

USA Today reports the study found three factors that increased a woman's risk of cancer in the opposite breast.

Those factors are:

  • More than one tumor in the originally diagnosed breast.
  • If cancer started in the milk producing lobes and spread like seeds instead of forming one lump.
  • High risk according to the Gail Model, which takes into account age, race and other factors.

The USA Today article also points out that while preventive mastectomies may give a woman peace of mind, no study has confirmed the surgery saves lives.