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Women 'seeking surgery to prevent cancer'
Women at a high risk of suffering from breast or ovarian cancer are increasingly choosing to undergo removal surgery as a precautionary measure, it has been suggested.
A report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, indicates that women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 are attempting to mitigate their higher risks of them developing cancer at an early stage.
Women who had a biopsy after undergoing risk evaluation were twice as likely to choose a risk-reducing mastectomy, the researchers found.
Lead researcher Dr Gareth Evans, a consultant in clinical genetics at the Genesis Prevention Center, University Hospital of South Manchester, said surgery did not always happen immediately after counseling or a genetic test result, but was more common.
"We found that older women were much less likely to have a mastectomy, but were more likely to have their ovaries removed," he added.
Meanwhile, Dr Evans suggested that additional studies were needed to help evaluate the communication efforts and methods between doctors, counsellors and women at an increased risk of suffering from breast cancer.
Last month, Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director at Breast Cancer Care, claimed screening remains the most effective tool for discovering breast cancers as soon as possible.