News | October 03, 2013

Survey: Unfounded Fear of Recurrence Prompts Young Breast Cancer Patients to Remove Healthy Breasts

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Sept. 17, 2013

October 3, 2013 — Despite evidence that contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) does not improve survival rates, an increasing number of young women with breast cancer elect to remove their healthy breast to avoid recurrence and improve survival.

Researchers surveyed 123 women aged 40 or younger without known bilateral breast cancer who reported having bilateral mastectomy. The purpose of the survey was to better understand how women approach the decision to have CPM. The survey included questions about the women's health history, reason for choosing CPM and knowledge and perceptions about breast cancer. Most of the women (n = 97) had stage I or II breast cancer and 60 percent of tumors were estrogen receptor-positive. Almost all (98 percent) of the women surveyed indicated that desires to decrease their risk for contralateral breast cancer (CBC) prompted their decision to remove the healthy breast. Although 94 percent of the women surveyed said they chose bilateral mastectomy to increase survival, only 18 percent reported thinking that CPM improved survival rates. Almost all of the women surveyed overestimated the actual risk of CBC.

While physicians were identified as the most important sources of information about breast cancer, only one-third of the women cited a desire to follow a physician's recommendations as an extremely or very important factor in their decision. The authors suggest that this survey underscores a need for better risk communication strategies that help patients make decisions based on evidence.

For more information: www.phys.org

Related Content

California Women In Favor of Extending State's Breast Density Inform Law
News | Breast Density | June 15, 2018
A recent survey of California women found that 95 percent of respondents want the state’s breast density inform law to...
Women More Likely to Use Other Preventive Health Services Following Mammography
News | Mammography | June 13, 2018
Medicare beneficiaries who undergo breast cancer screening with mammography are more likely than unscreened women to...
How AI and Deep Learning Will Enable Cancer Diagnosis Via Ultrasound

The red outline shows the manually segmented boundary of a carcinoma, while the deep learning-predicted boundaries are shown in blue, green and cyan. Copyright 2018 Kumar et al. under Creative Commons Attribution License.

News | Ultrasound Imaging | June 12, 2018 | Tony Kontzer
June 12, 2018 — Viksit Kumar didn’t know his mother had...
Breast imaging technologies have seen a rapid evolution.

Breast imaging technologies have seen a rapid evolution.

Feature | Women's Health | June 05, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis
Breast imaging technologies have evolved rapidly in the last two decades to help physicians detect breast cancers at
Breast Cancer Survivors Not Getting Recommended Number of Mammograms Post-Surgery
News | Mammography | May 24, 2018
Breast cancer survivors are not getting the recommended level of screening post-surgery, according to a newly-published...
Breast Cancer Places Greater Financial Burden on Black Women
News | Women's Health | May 16, 2018
Having breast cancer placed a significantly greater financial strain on black women than white women, according to a...
FDA's MQSA Accreditation Bodies Approved for Tomosynthesis Accreditation

Image courtesy of Fujifilm.

Feature | Mammography | May 14, 2018
On April 9, 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that all four of its Mammography Quality...
Overlay Init