Doctors say rising rates of mastectomy cause for concern

February 25, 2016
Dr. Alice Police, UC Irvine Health breast specialist

Dr. Alice Police

IN THE NEWS: According to a report released this month from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, between 2005 and 2013, breast cancer rates remained constant, but the number of women choosing to undergo mastectomy increased to 90 per 100,000, a 36 percent increase.

Doctors are concerned about this trend and believe that it reflects the popular belief that mastectomy is the most effective treatment to prevent cancer recurrence. “Everyone is seeing this as a big problem,” UC Irvine Health surgical oncologist Dr. Alice Police tells the Orange County Register. “It’s fear and lack of education.”

Mastectomy is a major operation that requires general anesthesia. Other risks include infection, blood loss or skin loss around the incision.

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