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Thirty-Six Percent Increase in Mastectomies From 2005 to 2013

Bilateral mastectomies with cancer more than tripled and those without cancer more than doubled


THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- From 2005 to 2013 there was a 36 percent increase in the overall rate of mastectomies, according to a report published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Claudia A. Steiner, M.D., M.P.H., from the AHRQ in Rockville, Md., and colleagues present data on bilateral and unilateral mastectomies among adult women in two hospital settings: hospital inpatient and hospital-based ambulatory surgery. The analysis was conducted in 13 states, representing more than one-quarter of the U.S. population.

The researchers found that the overall rate of mastectomy increased 36 percent from 2005 to 2013, from 66 to 90/100,000 adult women. The rate of hospital-based bilateral mastectomies increased from 9.1 to 29.7/100,000 adult women, while the rate of unilateral mastectomies remained relatively stable (around 60/100,000). Compared with those who had a unilateral mastectomy, women who had a bilateral mastectomy in 2013 were about 10 years younger. The rate of bilateral outpatient mastectomies increased more than five-fold and the inpatient rate nearly tripled from 2005 to 2013. The rate of unilateral mastectomies increased nearly two-fold in the outpatient setting and decreased 28 percent in the inpatient setting. From 2005 to 2013, bilateral mastectomies with cancer more than tripled and bilateral mastectomies without cancer more than doubled.

"This brief highlights changing patterns of care for breast cancer and the need for further evidence about the effects of choices women are making on their health, well-being, and safety," Rick Kronick, Ph.D., director of the AHRQ, said in an agency news release. "More women are opting for mastectomies, particularly preventive double mastectomies, and more of those surgeries are being done as outpatient procedures."

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