Far more breast cancer patients are choosing to undergo mastectomy, including removal of both breasts, instead of choosing breast conservation surgery even when they have early stage disease that is confined to one breast, a Vanderbilt study shows. In the past decade, there have also been marked trends toward higher proportions of women opting for breast reconstruction.

The rates of increase were steepest among women with lymph node-negative and in situ (contained) disease. This is a reversal of trends seen since the 1990s when breast conservation surgery (BCS) was found to produce equivalent cancer outcomes and was endorsed as a standard of excellence by a National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference.

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