Do Double Mastectomies Prevent Cancer?
Did Angelina get it wrong? New research is suggesting yes.
For most women with breast cancer, there doesn’t seem to be a significant survival benefit from having their healthy breast removed as well, new research suggests.
The new study is published July 16 in JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
“We found fairly convincing evidence that there really is no meaningful long-term survival benefit for the vast majority of women with breast cancer by having their opposite breast removed,” said study researcher Dr. Todd Tuttle.
He is chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.
Tuttle’s team tracked survival over 20 years for more than 100,000 women with stage I or stage II breast cancers.
The researchers then used a model to simulate survival results in women who had prophylactic mastectomy and those who did not.
The survival benefit between women who’ve had a preventive mastectomy and those who kept their healthy breast was less than 1 percent.
In recent years, more women with cancer in one breast have been choosing to have the other breast removed as a precaution – known as a prophylactic or preventive mastectomy.
From his practice, Tuttle said, he knows many women asking for preventive mastectomy do so out of fear. Many who opt for the procedure tell Tuttle: “I am going to have my other breast removed for peace of mind.”
He tells them: “It’s really a false sense of security.”
It’s important to note that none of the women in this study had the so-called breast cancer genes known as BRCA-1 and BRCA-2. These genes significantly increase a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Fear and misinformation are the drivers behind the ‘preventative mastectomies’.
Instead of allowing fear to rule the minds of these women, prevention strategies should be encouraged.
Proven preventative treatments include:
- Exercise increases breast cancer survival rate by 45%. Aerobic exercise also reduces the risk of breast cancer development, by changing the metabolism of oestrogen by increasing the ratio of ‘good’ to the ‘bad’ oestrogens.
- Diet! Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy, which provide indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient which helps metabolise oestrogen.
- Quit smoking. Latest research links a 24% increase in breast cancer amongst smokers.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol changes the way oestrogen is metabolised in our body, which can lead to oestrogen dominance. Women who drink alcohol have higher body oestrogen levels than those who don’t.
- Get some sleep. Getting at least 7 hours per day reduces the risk of aggressive forms of breast cancer in women.
Can We Predict Breast Cancer Through Testing?
Yes! Along with assessing other breast cancer risk factors like diet, exercise and lifestyle, we can test for how well you are metabolising your oestrogen hormones.
Basically there is a ‘good’ metabolite called 2-hydroxyoestrone (2-OHE1) and a ‘bad’ metabolite 16a-hydroxyoestrone (16a-OHE1). High levels of 16a-OHE1 have been found to be associated with oestrogen-dependent cancers such as breast, head, neck and prostate.
Components in vegetables in the cabbage family, particularly broccoli, help to reduce 16a-OHE1 and increase 2-OHE1.
Sometimes food is not enough to correct the imbalance initially so supplementation with products containing high levels of sulphorphane are needed. Once the optimal hormone balance is achieved diet alone is often enough to maintain it.
Cell-Logic EnduraCell Plus is a broccoli sprout powder supplement. The bright green sprouts of broccoli contain bioactive compounds which have been shown to intervene beneficially at several levels in human chemistry, including the metabolism of hormones.
Diet, exercise and smart supplementation is the key to preventing reoccurrence of breast cancer. Take a read of the articles below to find out how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer and its reoccurrence.
If you are looking for a tailored treatment plan, talk to your Emed Practitioner today.
- Oestrogen Exposure and Breast Cancer Link
- Fish Oil Reduces Breast Cancer Risk by 33%
- Breast Cancer – A Genetic Breakthrough
- Exercise Decreases Breast Cancer Death by 45%
- Research Insight – X-Ray Radiation Boosts Breast Cancer Risk by 90%