Contralateral Mastectomy for BRCA+ Breast Cancer Patients

June 11th, 2014 @   -  No Comments
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal, compared the survival rates of women diagnosed with BRCA associated breast cancer that underwent a double mastectomy with women who did not undergo a mastectomy of the other breast. The particpants were 390 women with Stage 1 or Stage 2 breast cancer and were carriers of either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.   The patients were followed on average for 14.3 years (range 0.1 year-20 years).  At 20 years the survival rate for women who had a mastectomy of the contralateral breast was 88% and for those who did not was 66%. This study clearly indicates that women diagnosed with breast cancer and carry either of the common breast cancer mutations, are less likely to die from breast cancer if treated with a double mastectomy, than women who are treated with unilateral mastectomy.  For surgical oncologists, like myself, offering bilateral mastectomies for this subset of women diagnosed with breast cancer and carry the BRCA gene will become routine.

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