June 23, 2015 – Mastectomy vs. Lumpectomy


Anchor lead: Most women should consider the data before choosing mastectomy over lumpectomy, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Removal of both breasts, called bilateral mastectomy, has grown in popularity among women with early stage breast cancer for a number of reasons.  But David Euhus, director of breast surgery at Johns Hopkins, says most women should take a look at the numbers relative to simply removing the tumor, called lumpectomy, showing very low recurrence risk.

Euhus: This is tied to the use of very effective adjuvant systemic therapies, like tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, for many women, the risk of getting a second cancer or recurrence of the cancer in the breast is far below 1% per year.  Similarly the risk for a cancer in the opposite breast overall has dropped to something like 0.2% per year. So it’s a very low risk yet women who choose bilateral mastectomy are often saying I’m doing it because I want to reduce my risk of recurrence.  :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.