Breast cancer research has really reached the forefront of cancer prevention and medical studies, and with good reason. Just ask around, and you will find that almost everyone’s life has been touched in some way by breast cancer, especially the older they are, since they’ve probably seen at least one friend, acquaintance, or family member suffer the disease.
That’s because it is the second most common cancer to affect women, followed by skin cancer, depending on where you read the figures. Some place breast cancer as the most common in women, which definitely may be true, especially considering the cases that go undiagnosed for long periods of time.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 50,000 women will be diagnosed with carcinoma in situ, which is one of the earliest forms of breast cancer.
The ACS provides detailed information regarding the different treatment options available for women who are diagnosed with the disease. Because the illness can be diagnosed in different stages, women are encouraged to explore all treatment options with their physician to determine which is best for their particular situation.
There have been more and more about women, young women, who are opting to have a radical procedure called a double mastectomy, which is the complete removal of both breasts, so that they may not live in fear of getting breast cancer after testing positive for the gene defect that puts them in a high risk category for this disease.
A double mastectomy involves the complete and total removal of the breasts, the tissue, and everything. It seems extreme, doesn’t it? However, with celebrities like Christina Applegate having a mastectomy, the spotlight is on the disease and how it has scared a lot of women into having this procedure, especially with the advent of genetic screening.
Genetic screening can tell a woman with fair certainty, by looking at her genetics and DNA, whether she will get breast cancer in her life, or at least what the percentage odds are. Sometimes those odds are close to 100%, and this is usually what causes women to undergo the radical breast removal procedure double mastectomy most often.
Sadly, there are many women who are having this done without knowing for sure they would have gotten the disease. Double mastectomies will probably save a lot of lives in the future, but we’re really not far enough into this trend to tell, since this just started to become a trend after genetic testing became more popular and common. We’ll see in the future if these surgeries truly were lifesaving events.