Breast cancer patients remove healthy breasts even as doctors advise restraint

This is the “Angeline Jolie” effect and it is highly debatable with many experts questioning the reliability and results. 

What did the survey find?

  • 37.8% of women who were eligible for breast-conserving surgery wound up getting mastectomies in 2011
  • That is a 34.3% increase on 1998
  • For bilateral mastectomies, in 1998 these procedures accounted for only 5.4% of all mastectomies
  • By 2011, it had risen to 29.7% 

Interestingly, a 2014 study of California breast cancer patients in JAMA, found that the 10-year survival rate for women who had breast-conserving surgery was 83.2% vs those who chose CPM at 81.2%. 

In the California study, the proportion of California women who picked CPM grew from 2% in 1998 to 12.3% in 2011, despite the favorable performance of breast-conserving surgery. 

Experts are saying that “most women don’t seem to realize that they can save their breasts without putting their health at risk”. 

Study a long survey analysis of over 1.2 million breast cancer patients by doctors from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and several Harvard-affiliated schools and hospitals as published November 19, 2014, in JAMA Surgery.

Posted: Friday 9 January 2015