Double Mastectomy Is Rising In Male Breast Cancer Patients

Posted: Sep 3 2015, 2:02am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News


Double Mastectomy Is Rising in Male Breast Cancer Patients
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5.6% men with breast cancer opted for double mastectomy in 2011 compared to just 3% in 2004, new study suggests.

Male breast cancer patients are opting to remove healthy breasts more than ever before. That is what a new research published in JAMA suggests.

According to the research, a substantial increase has been observed over the past decade. A total of 6,322 men, who were diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent contralateral prophylactic mastectomy from 2004 to 2011. Precisely, 5.6 percent male breast cancer patients opted for surgery in 2011, which is almost double compared to a mere 3 percent in 2004. 

“(The surgery) is only recommended for a small proportion of men and the rates observed in the new study are higher than this proportion.” Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, lead author of the study said in a statement. 

Double mastectomy is already at rise in women breast cancer patients and is more evident in younger women. According to stats, the percentage of females with unilateral invasive breast cancer undergoing double mastectomy increased from 2.2 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2011.

Both men and women face the same kind of devastating fear: reoccurrence of breast cancer. So, they opt for double mastectomy which is a widely known treatment for preventing recurrence of the disease.

Double mastectomy is a surgery where healthy and unaffected breast is also removed alongside the cancerous one.  Though, there is no solid evidence to suggest that it stops reoccurrence or makes a patient live longer.

Breast cancer is more common in women and rarely affects men. According to American Cancer Society, breast cancer is about 100 times less common in men than women. The lifetime risk of men getting cancer is about 1 in 1,000 compared to 1 in 8 for women.

Dr. Jemal, who is the vice president of surveillance and health services research at American Cancer Society, suggests that men diagnosed with breast cancer should consult their physicians and ask the benefits and harms of double mastectomy before opting for it. 


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The Author

Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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