Breast Cancer Prevention

Tools

Story Updated: Nov 29, 2012

Recently a contestant in the Miss America pageant made news because of her decision to have a double mastectomy due to family history... before a cancer diagnosis.

A new study proves she's not alone in this personal decision.

According to research out of the University of Michigan... there's also a growing trend towards preventative double mastectomy in women with early-stage breast cancer.

University of Michigan researchers surveyed more than 22-hundred women who were newly diagnosed. Four years later, they were questioned again.

Of the 1,446 women who had not had a recurrence by the time of the second survey, 35% said they considered removing the healthy breast.... and more than 7-percent had opted for the surgery.

Ironically, about 70% of patients who had the preventative surgery were clinically at very low risk for disease in the healthy breast...90% reported being very worried about recurrence when making their treatment decision.

The research team is planning a larger study, in part, to develop tools that will help patients understand the risks and benefits of preventative removal...versus other treatment options.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.