A University of Minnesota study found a drastic increase in women receiving
double mastectomies when diagnosed with cancer in just one breast. Over a six-year period, researchers found a 150 percent jump in patients choosing to have both breasts removed—despite a less than 1 percent chance of cancer returning in a remaining breast—in hopes to improve survival. Some possible explanations for this spike were women’s overall fear of the disease, being traumatized by chemotherapy and belief that early screening failed to detect their first tumor and might fail again.

The current guidelines for localized breast cancer are to remove the tumor and not the entire breast.

To read more about breast cancer, read RH’s feature Battling Breast Cancer.