It seems that many women who have undergone a full mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer could have had a lumpectomy instead. This is the conclusion of the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) following a major international study over the course of 22 years.
According to Radio Netherlands Worldwide, it was after reviewing thousands of cases, the institute concluded that while many mastectomies were unnecessary, the more radical surgery went ahead because neither the patients or their physicians felt safe with 'just' a lumpectomy.
Even today, many doctors prefer to carry out a mastectomy just to be on the safe side. There are, however, cases where lumpectomies are not possible, for example: in women under 35, in cases of hereditary breast cancer, or in situations when the cancer has metastasized.
The study will be published in the medical journal The Lancet.