Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Unilateral BC: Unilateral or Bilateral Mastectomy?

Cancer Manag Res; 2017 Nov 16; Agarwal, et al

Breast cancer-specific mortality rates were similar in women who received bilateral or unilateral mastectomy, according to a matched cohort analysis involving >41,500 individuals. Participants were diagnosed with unilateral breast cancer between 1998 and 2002. Investigators used a 4-to-1 matched cohort of patients that included ~14,000 patients, and looked at cause-specific death. Among the results:

  • 93% of patients had unilateral and the remainder bilateral mastectomy.
  • Under 4-to-1 matching, ~11,200 unilateral mastectomy and ~2,800 bilateral mastectomy patients were included.
  • Risk of breast cancer-specific death was similar in both groups.

The authors noted that clinicians should consider patient preference and alternative benefits of bilateral mastectomy.


Agarwal S, Pappas L, Agarwal J. Association between unilateral or bilateral mastectomy and breast cancer death in patients with unilateral ductal carcinoma. Cancer Manag Res. 2017;9:649-656. doi:10.2147/CMAR.S148456.

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