Double Mastectomy And Survival Rates In Breast Cancer; Fact & Fiction
In a recent article published by ScienceDaily, surveys show that most women with breast cancer wrongly believe that a double mastectomy will increase their chances of survival.
“Studies have shown that for women at average risk of a second cancer, removing the unaffected breast does not meaningfully improve survival.”
According to the article, a survey revealed that only 37% of women knew that the more aggressive surgery added little benefit whatsoever.
Lead study author Reshma Jagsi, M.D., D.Phil., associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Michigan Medical School, places the responsibility squarely on doctors to ensure their patients are making sound choices based upon widely understood and scientifically based factors.
Our finding that so many women are receiving much more extensive surgery than needed to treat their disease is striking. Women diagnosed with breast cancer are naturally eager to do everything in their power to fight the disease.
When Correct Information and Physicians Don’t Always Mix
Getting the right information …from the right physician isn’t always easy and more than ever, patients must be their own best advocates when physicians are less than inclined to discuss alternative treatments and outcomes.
My self-advocate hero these days where cancer is concerned is Victoria Pynchon, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
In her recent post on LinkedIn, “How My Oncologist Blew Her Job Interview” Victoria blends her usual no-nonsense and humorous style as she journeyed through the maze of challenges endured while looking for honest dialog concerning treatment options.
As for the ‘authority’ expressed in both tone and specialty by the oncologist Victoria consulted with, who seemed unimpressed by Vic’s desire to discuss the viable options available to her (rather than the one-size-fits-all method of care), my smart attorney-negotiator (co-founder of “SheNegotiates“) had this to say:
I am an intelligent adult who is going to make a decision about my cancer treatment after gathering all of the information I believe is necessary. Then I’ll weigh the costs and benefits of your recommendation. If I have reason not to trust your judgment, I’ll get a second opinion. Unless you have a gun to my head, your “authority” is, frankly, meaningless to me.
I’d encourage anyone interested in the topic to follow Victoria as she blazes a few new trails in her search for quality care, best outcomes and life on the other side of breast cancer. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll be better prepared for yourself or someone you love.
We always appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts here as well, as it’s a great way to pass along your experience to others.
Read the full ScienceDaily article here.