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Diagnosis Cancer: Is Breast Removal the Best Option?

About 230,000 American women will learn they have invasive breast cancer in the coming year. Many will make the choice to have the affected breast or both breast removed to address this disease. This decision, for many, may come even if the case of cancer doesn’t necessitate such invasive action. New research is showing that taking this course may not be in a woman’s best interest even if the prophylactic benefits could bring peace of mind.

A recent American study has cast a growing trend in breast cancer treatment in a less than favorable light. Researchers ultimately found that mastectomy combined with reconstruction in early stage breast cancer poses much greater risks for women while also costing them a fair amount more. That form of treatment was compared with the results of a less-invasive lumpectomy combined with radiation.

To arrive at its findings, the study looked at data related to more than 100,000 breast cancer patients. Researchers found that more than 50 percent of patients who opted for the mastectomy and reconstruction treatment option ended up experiencing complications within two years of diagnosis. Those who chose the less invasive route had more positive outcomes. What’s more, the costs associated with mastectomy and reconstruction were much higher.

Over the past 10 years or so, more American women are choosing mastectomies followed by reconstruction surgery to treat early stage breast cancer. The reasoning behind the move is largely an attempt to eliminate the chance of a recurrence even if the indications are low for a return of cancer. Popularized by celebrities choosing this route, more invasive treatment is quite often not medically necessary.

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are strongly urged to talk to their doctors about all treatment options. In early stage, low-risk cases, a less involved treatment method may prove to be the wisest choice. More invasive treatments, however, could be medically advised if risks for return are especially high.

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