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Number of Mastectomies in Women has increased dramatically, Study Says

Update Date: Feb 23, 2016 09:31 AM EST

More women are choosing to undergo a mastectomy today than ever before, a new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality report found.

For this research, the team analyzed the mastectomy rates from 2005 to 2013. The data included 13 states: Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin. A mastectomy is a procedure that involves removing at least one of the breasts, partially or completely, usually as a form of treatment for breast cancer.

The researchers found that during this time period, although the number of breast cancer cases did not increase, the rate of mastectomies went from 66 per 100,000 female patients to 90 per 100,000. The rate of women undergoing a double mastectomy increased from nine out of 100,000 in 2005 to 30 out of 100,000 in 2013.

The team found that the double mastectomy rate for women who did not have cancer also increased from two per 100,000 women to four per 100,000.

"This brief highlights changing patterns of care for breast cancer and the need for further evidence about the effects of choices women are making on their health, well-being and safety," said AHRQ Director Rick Kronick reported by Medical Xpress. "More women are opting for mastectomies, particularly preventive double mastectomies, and more of those surgeries are being done as outpatient procedures."

Data also revealed that women who opted for a double mastectomy were much younger than those who had a single mastectomy in 2013. The average ages were 51 in double mastectomy patients versus 61 in single mastectomy patients.

For more information on the report, click here.

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