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January 17th, 2017

Avoid routine double mastectomy when possible

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young

Consensus group urges weighing pros, cons and patient preference in unilateral breast cancer.

A position paper issued by the American Society of Breast Surgeons recommends against contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) for average-risk women with breast cancer in only one breast.

The recommendation on prophylactic mastectomy, published online July 28, 2016, in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, addresses the growing trend to remove the healthy breast (contralateral prophylactic mastectomy) along with the breast with breast cancer.

Photograph of Judy C. Boughey, M.D.

Judy C. Boughey, M.D.

"Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is a growing trend that has generated significant discussion among physicians, patients, breast cancer advocates and media," said Judy C. Boughey, M.D., a breast surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and lead author of the position paper.

"Our group examined and summarized the data and developed guidelines about the appropriateness of prophylactic surgery," Dr. Boughey said. "Our goal was to provide a framework for physicians to discuss CPM with patients. It is important for patients to understand that CPM does not improve their cancer outcome and to understand the pros, cons and alternatives to CPM."

Read about the recommendations of the group in Forefront, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's online magazine.

Dr. Boughey's leadership role in this project is just one example of the many ways in which Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers seek to improve care delivery and health outcomes for people everywhere.

As a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center fosters cancer research in part through 10 formal research programs:

Cancer researchers also collaborate with other areas in Mayo Clinic, such as the Office of Health Disparities Research and the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, and the Center for Regenerative Medicine.

Tags: About, American Society of Breast Surgeons, breast cancer, double mastectomy, Forefront, Judy Boughey, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

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