Preventive mastectomies growing in popularity

Sep 29, 2011

Proactive mastectomies becoming more common

Approximately one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her life and more than 200,000 cases were diagnosed in the country in 2010. This is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among women, possibly leading to thousands of life insurance claims each year.

Individuals who have a close family member that suffered from the disease are at a higher risk of being diagnosed themselves, and as a result more women are choosing to undergo preventative mastectomies to fight the cancer before it has a chance to infect their bodies, FOX Business reports.

There are two different types of mastectomies that women can undergo. The first is a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy which may help women with hereditary factors that put them at higher risk of developing cancer, such as family incidence or the mutation of certain genes, the media outlet reports.

A contralateral mastectomy is used to treat individuals who have been diagnosed in one breast and opt to have the unaffected breast removed as a precautionary measure. While the decision to have this procedure has grown over the last decade, doctors feel that the likelihood of the cancer spreading to the unaffected breast are extremely low and the danger lies more in the cancer infecting the bones or the brain.  

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