Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Rate Increasing

Analysis of SEER database shows that the incidence has more than doubled since 1998

TUESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Between 1998 and 2003, rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy have more than doubled among U.S. breast cancer patients, according to the results of a study published online Oct. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Todd M. Tuttle, M.D., of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database to review 1998-2003 treatment data on 152,755 patients, including 4,969 patients who opted for contralateral prophylactic mastectomy.

The researchers found that the rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy were 3.3 percent for all surgically treated patients and 7.7 percent for mastectomy patients. Between 1998 and 2003, they found that the overall rate increased from 1.8 percent to 4.5 percent, and from 4.2 percent to 11 percent in mastectomy patients. They observed the highest rates in younger patients, non-Hispanic whites, those with lobular histology, and those with a previous cancer diagnosis.

"The potential benefit of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is greatest for patients who have the highest risk of contralateral breast cancer," the authors write. "The decision to undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is complex, and many factors likely contribute to its increased frequency."

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