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Removing noncancerous breast often unnecessary

Most women with breast cancer who also have the second breast removed don't need to take that precaution, a new study finds. The study looked at information on 1,447 women treated for newly diagnosed cancer in a single breast. The women reported information to breast cancer registries for 3 to 5 years after treatment. Nearly 19% said they had strongly considered having both breasts removed. About 8% actually had double mastectomies. But researchers concluded that 69% of those who had both breasts removed actually had a low risk of developing cancer in the other breast. They did not have a strong family risk of cancer. They also did not have any gene mutations linked with increased risk of breast cancer. Women who had more detailed imaging of their breasts using MRI were more likely to have a double mastectomy.

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