'Double mastectomies don't give better survival rates'
Women with breast cancer who have a double mastectomy have no greater chance of surviving the disease, a new study has shown.
Despite a rise in the number of women opting to have both breasts removed to prevent cancer returning, an analysis of 190,000 cancer patients found that chances of survival were no different to those who only had tumours removed.
However, researchers said that a double mastectomy could still be the best option for women with genetic mutations that increase their risk of having recurring breast cancer.
The study, which was carried out in California, discovered that the numbers of breast cancer patients having double mastectomies increased from just 2pc in 1998 to 12.3pc in 2011.
Younger, wealthier women were more likely to have the procedure. One in three women under 40 in the study were having double mastectomies by 2011.
However, long-term survival rates did not differ significantly between women who had double mastectomies compared to those who had lumps in their breast removed. (© Independent News Service)