For most women with breast cancer, also remove the healthy breast does not seem to have a significant benefit for the survival, suggests a recent investigation.
In recent years, more women with Cancer In one breast, the other breast has also been removed, as a precaution, a procedure known as prophylactic or preventive mastectomy. But this new study finds that in a period of 20 years, the difference in the benefit for the survival in women who have undergone a mastectomy preventive and in those who kept the healthy breast was less than 1%.
We found quite convincing evidence that there is really no significant benefit in long-term survival for the vast majority of women with breast cancer if the other breast is removed, " commented the study's researcher, Dr. Todd Tuttle. Tuttle is chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
Younger women with breast cancer of receivers estrogen negative (that is, they are not promoted by estrogen) in stage I received the greatest benefits from the procedure. But the difference in survival between those who underwent surgery and those who were not less than 1% in a period of 20 years, according to the study.
But it is important to note that none of the women in this study carried the so-called genes of the breast cancer , known as BRCA-1 and BRCA-2. Those genes significantly increase a woman's risk of breast and ovarian cancer, depending on the National Cancer Institute of the United States. And because of that increased risk, these women are often offered preventive surgeries to remove the breasts and breasts. ovaries
Tuttle's team followed the 20-year survival of more than 100,000 women with stage I or II breast cancers. Then, the researchers used a model to simulate the survival results in women who underwent a prophylactic mastectomy and in those who did not.
The researchers did not take other considerations into account, such as the quality of life, surgical complications or the fear caused by the decision to undergo a preventive mastectomy.
Recent research has found that unfounded fears cause some women to remove their healthy breast. In a study of women 40 years of age or younger with breast cancer who chose a preventive mastectomy, 94% said they wanted to increase survival, although only 18 percent thought the procedure would actually achieve it.
Tuttle said that, from her practice, she knows that many women who request a preventive mastectomy do so out of fear. Many who choose the procedure tell Tuttle "I'm going to remove the other breast to be calm." He tells them that "it is a false sense of security."
It tells women who have had breast cancer in a breast that they are at a greater risk of contracting Cancer in the other one. But the odds of getting cancer in the other breast are around 4 to 5 percent in the next 10 years, Tuttle said, citing studies in the medical literature.
But, he said, survival in general depends on "whether the original cancer has spread, not whether another one is contracted."
Dr. Stephen G. Pauker, professor of medicine and psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, He wrote an editorial that accompanies the study in the same edition of the magazine. He noted that "the differences in survival are small" between the two groups of women.