Double Mastectomy Rates on the Rise, but Survival Rates Steady

A study covering 20 years of treatment for breast cancer in California shows a significant rise in rates of double mastectomies, but no significant change in survival rates as a result.

The researchers looked at the medical records of 189,734 California women who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in one breast from 1998 to 2011.

During that time, the overall number of women who chose to have double mastectomy increased from 2% in 1998 to 12.3% in 2011. This increase was even larger in women younger than 40:

. . . (survival rates given) . . .

The small difference in survival rates between the women who had lumpectomy plus radiation and the women who had double mastectomy wasn’t statistically significant, which means it could have happened by chance and wasn’t because of the difference in treatment.