“Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, breast medical oncologist, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses optimal local therapy for women with breast cancer. Partridge says that while studies have shown that lumpectomy followed by radiation is the equivalent of having a mastectomy, there continues to be a growing epidemic of women getting a bilateral mastectomy for unilateral breast cancer. These surgeries include women who are not at high-risk.
“Partridge says these bilateral mastectomies should be better explained to women who opt to have them. She adds that the common misconception is that once both breasts are removed, a patient is cancer free and “the hard part” is over. Partridge says the complications for women who opt to reconstruct their breasts after a bilateral mastectomy still poses significant health risks.”