Double Mastectomies for Men with Breast Cancer on the Rise

Double Mastectomies for Men with Breast Cancer on the Rise

More men are opting to have preventative double mastectomies, according to a study. (AP Photo)
More men are opting to have preventative double mastectomies, according to a study. (AP Photo)

(CNN) – An increasing number of women in the last decade have been deciding to have both their breasts removed after being diagnosed with cancer in a single breast. It now seems that more men are also opting to have this type of double mastectomy, according to a study.

Researchers examined data from national cancer registries of more than 6,000 men who underwent surgery for breast cancer from 2004 to 2011. Most of the men (76%) had a single mastectomy, or surgical removal of only the breast with cancer, whereas another 20% had lumpectomy, or surgery to remove only the tumor.

Although a small proportion of the men had a double mastectomy, the researchers found the number is on the rise, from 3% in 2004 to 5.6% in 2011.

“This is not good news because there is no evidence for the benefit of the procedure in terms of survival and there is harm associated with it,” said Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of the Surveillance and Health Services Research Program at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study, which was published on Tuesday in the journal JAMA Surgery.

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