Making the choice on how to treat your breast cancer can be an emotional one for women. Should they choose a less aggressive treatment, it might come back, which is why there’s been a 20% increase in women choosing double mastectomies even though only one breast is affected. And several studies have shown that for most women removing the unaffected breast does not improve their survival.
University of Michigan researchers wanted to know if there was more to the reason why more women are opting for double mastectomies.
What researchers at U of M found is that women are choosing it because they don't want to risk cancer coming back and they don't want to undergo extensive radiation, even though radiation has come a long way.
Many radiologists can pinpoint the exact area they need to treat and very little healthy tissue is affected. But the misinformation about radiology is another issue the study identified. They say the more involved doctors were in the decision-making process, the more women opted for less invasive treatment and radiation.
U of M has come up with a tool to help women make those important decisions about breast cancer. It's called I can decide and it walks you through your decisions and tries to help you understand procedures and terminology so you can feel more confident the decision you're making is right for you.
Making the right decision when it comes to your breast cancer treatment means being informed about the type of cancer you have and all of the treatment options available to you.