Study: Young breast cancer patients choosing to have double mastectomy

Posted at: 09/16/2013 8:14 PM

An increasing number of young patients with early stage breast cancer in one breast are choosing to have both breasts removed.

According to research from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, many of them say they want to prevent new cancers and increase their chance of survival. Doctors say there's very little evidence the surgery will do either. They say the risk for developing a new cancer in the healthy breast is very small for those who do not have a known genetic predisposition.

When asked about the surgical side effects of removing the healthy breast, a third of patients said the effects were worse than they thought, but they would the surgery again for peace of mind.