Breast Cancer – Do You Really Need a Mastectomy? – From a Nurse Survivor

Breast Cancer – Do You Really Need a Mastectomy? – From a Nurse Survivor

If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, it may have been suggested you have a single mastectomy in the other breast or a double mastectomy, but is this the best approach? I was diagnosed more than a decade ago with infiltrating intraductal breast cancer and I turned down all conventional treatment including chemotherapy, radiation and surgery and chose an alternative route. No single or double mastectomy either. And I’m still in excellent health today.

The trend is alarming as more and more women are removing healthy breasts because they are panicked, are in fear of breast cancer returning or migrating to the other breast.

I’ll discuss a recent study showing why mastectomy is not saving lives in a moment. However, what is alarming to me is that there is still breast tissue left in the chest wall and by removing healthy breasts there is still tissue that could already contain cancer cells or be available to them.

There is very little evidence that proves that women live longer or survival rates increase by removing their breasts after a diagnosis of breast cancer. A recent study of statistics published in a national medical journal read by doctors found that 5000 women in one state, between 1995 and 2005, who had cancer in one of their breasts, chose to have the other breast removed. These women already had breast cancer. They were not women who tested positive for the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene mutation type of breast cancer, where prophylactic removal is more common.

This trend is disheartening. Especially because there is absolutely no data, or no evidence that mastectomy or removing one or both breasts in a breast cancer patient, improved survival rates or helped them live longer. It appears that many women are doing this in panic mode. A cancer diagnosis creates panic and fear.

The statistics show that there is only a 10 percent to 15 percent chance of developing cancer in the other breast in the upcoming 20 years following the diagnosis. In addition, because one has already been diagnosed with it, breast cancer would likely be caught very early. So why remove a healthy breast?

I chose not to have any chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. They wanted to remove some of my lymph nodes and give me aggressive chemo and radiation. In addition, this was to be followed by five years of the drug Tamoxifen.

I turned it all down! Of course I immediately changed my lifestyle and radically changed my diet. And I felt healthier in the month and months and years to follow and ever since then – more than ten years ago. If you’ve had a breast cancer diagnosis and are considering mastectomy either single or double, please do plenty of research before you commit. Based on the studies, research and data today there doesn’t seem to be a good reason to do it.

Breast Cancer – Do You Really Need a Mastectomy? – From a Nurse Survivor

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