Double mastectomies halve death rate for BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer patients

Woman with a genetic form of breast cancer who have double mastectomies are nearly 50 per cent less likely to die of the disease within 20 years of diagnosis than those who have only one breast removed, new research shows.

The findings, published Wednesday in the British Medical Journal, underscore the value of testing for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation and suggest that a double mastectomy may be an effective first-line treatment for those who carry it.

“This is the first study to ever highlight that having a bilateral mastectomy increases survival in these women,” explained lead author Kelly Metcalfe, an adjunct scientist at Women’s College Research Centre and professor at the University of Toronto.

Read the full, original story: Double mastectomies mean higher survival rates for some cancers

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