Celebrity cases might assistance coax arise in double mastectomies

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay News) — Media coverage of celebrities who conflict breast cancer is not always offset or thorough, and this lopsided perspective competence be one cause in a flourishing recognition of double mastectomies, a new investigate suggests.

“Celebrities do have a poignant impact on medical decision-making, though in this box it competence be a disastrous effect,” pronounced investigate author Dr. Michael Sabel. He is arch of surgical oncology during a University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“The media coverage represents a kind of disposition that creates people consider this [double mastectomy] is a [best] diagnosis for breast cancer,” Sabel said.

Still, a investigate didn’t infer that media coverage indeed caused a boost in double mastectomies seen in a past decade.

In a study, Sabel and his group collected information on 17 celebrities who publicly disclosed their breast cancer diagnosis between 2000 and 2012. Among them were Christina Applegate, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Lunden, Cynthia Nixon, Suzanne Somers and Wanda Sykes.

Four celebrities underwent a double mastectomy, and 45 percent of a media coverage about their diagnoses mentioned a surgery, a investigate found. In a double mastectomy, both breasts are removed.

Meanwhile, usually 26 percent of media coverage mentioned medicine when stating on 10 celebrities who had a singular mastectomy or breast-conserving therapy, a commentary showed.

During that time, a rate of double mastectomies during a University of Michigan’s cancer core rose about fivefold — from 4 percent of women in 2000 to 19 percent of women in 2011, a researchers said.

In some cases, a medicine is warranted, Sabel said. For instance, it could be endorsed for a lady with breast cancer who has a clever family story and carries a genetic BRCA mutations that dramatically lift cancer risk, he explained.

“But we are saying a extensive arise [of double mastectomies] in those who don’t have high risk,” Sabel added. Many women come in with their minds done up, and instead of seeking about options, they state their wish, he said.

Sabel wondered if media coverage competence be personification a role, so his group analyzed some-more than 700 articles from vital U.S. imitation publications, such as a Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and others.

The researchers looked usually during celebrities who had breast cancer, not those, like singer Angelina Jolie, who have a genetic turn that raises risk though who did not have a breast cancer diagnosis.

The researchers did prominence a box of singer Christina Applegate, who got a double mastectomy in 2008 after being diagnosed with breast cancer during a age of 36. But usually a tiny partial of a media coverage explained that she had BRCA mutations and a family story that lifted her risk of a recurrence, a investigate authors noted.

What women take divided from that kind of lopsided coverage, Sabel suggested, is that any early breast cancer studious should have a double mastectomy.

Besides a lopsided coverage, he said, other factors are pushing a boost in a series of women selecting a assertive procedure. Among them are some-more information about genetic risks and improvements in breast reformation methods.

The bottom line? Surgeons should work to teach a media about choices, Sabel said, to diffuse a idea that double mastectomy is always best. Women should go to their surgeon with an open mind, seeking about any option, and a pros and cons of each, he said.

The investigate was published online recently in a Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Dr. Courtney Vito, an partner clinical highbrow of surgical oncology during a City of Hope National Medical Center, in Duarte, Calif., pronounced a investigate commentary simulate a questions she mostly gets in her practice. Celebrity coverage can give women a wrong impression, she agreed.

“Some patients perspective a shared [double] mastectomy as a benchmark of quality, even when it is infrequently medically inappropriate,” Vito said.

For instance, a lady with early theatre breast cancer though many other medical problems, such as plumpness or high blood pressure, competence be during reduction altogether risk if she chooses breast-conserving therapy.

“Many women who have had shared mastectomy pronounced they feel empowered,” Vito said. Yet it does not urge their presence odds, she added.

“Because breast cancer diagnosis is tailored to personal history, family history, growth biology and personal wishes, we contingency select a medicine with whom we can have a collaborative relationship,” Vito said.

More information

To learn some-more about mastectomy, revisit a American Cancer Society.

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