A new study finds that the majority of women who have both breasts removed after a breast cancer diagnosis had a very low risk of developing cancer in their healthy breast, raising the question of whether there is the potential for overtreatment in these types of patients. Many women who are diagnosed with breast cancer decide to have both of their breasts removed, a procedure known as double mastectomy or contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. Now a new study , published in JAMA Surgery , finds that although fear about recurrence was a factor affecting their decision, 70 percent of those women who had both breasts removed had a very low risk of developing cancer in their healthy breasts. The researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center studied 1, women who had been treated for breast cancer and who had not had a recurrence. The study found that 8 percent of women had a double mastectomy, and that 18 percent considered having one.
A chest wall recurrence is breast cancer that returns after a mastectomy. A chest wall recurrence may involve skin, muscle, and fascia beneath the site of the original breast tumor, as well as lymph nodes. When cancer recurs in the chest wall, it may be classed as a locoregional recurrence or it may be linked to distant metastasis.
Recurrent breast cancer is breast cancer that comes back after initial treatment. Although the initial treatment is aimed at eliminating all cancer cells, a few may have evaded treatment and survived. These undetected cancer cells multiply, becoming recurrent breast cancer. Recurrent breast cancer may occur months or years after your initial treatment.