Balzarini & Watson
Local: 412-471-1200
Toll Free: 866-316-2111
Home and Hospital Visits / Contingency Fee BasisFreeConsultation

Over 135 Years of Combined Experience In Personal Injury and Wrongful Death

The rise in double mastectomies for unilateral breast cancer

Women who have breast cancer often have to decide whether to undergo a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. According to a published study, despite the fact that they were diagnosed with early-stage cancer in one breast, an increasing number of younger women in Pennsylvania and around the country are choosing to undergo double mastectomies.

A contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, or CPM, is a procedure that removes both the healthy and the affected breast. In some states, over 42 percent of women aged 20 to 44 who opted for the surgery between 2010 and 2012 chose to have both breasts removed with a CPM.

According to a representative of the American Cancer Society, there may be multiple factors that are contributing to the increase in the procedure. Many women may undergo the procedure because the breasts tend to look more symmetrical after a double mastectomy than if just one breast was removed. The procedure was also highly publicized after a popular actress underwent the surgery after being diagnosed with the BRCA-1 cancer gene.

In 2016, the American Society of Breast Surgeons issued a consensus that cautioned against the routine removal of both breasts in women who have developed unilateral breast cancer. It is a recommendation that was also made by the American Board of Internal Medicine. It asserted that a CPM should be discouraged for women with unilateral breast cancer and an average risk. However, the final decision should include the consideration of the patient's preferences and the risks and benefits of the CPM.

The failure to diagnose breast cancer on a timely basis may make a doctor liable for medical malpractice. A personal injury attorney may pursue damages if the diagnosis failure resulted in a worsened medical condition.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information