For Breast Cancer Patients

Booklet about surgery options for women with early-stage breast cancer
This booklet discusses the pros and cons of different surgery choices for women with early-stage breast cancer. It can help patients decide what is best for them. To read or print a copy of the booklet, click here. It can also be viewed online at To order FREE copies of the booklet, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit and ask for NIH Publication No.04-5515.

Less Radical Surgery is a Healthier Choice for Women with Breast Cancer
Experts have long advised that lumpectomy patients live as long as mastectomy patients.  But the latest research, based on thousands of women, indicates that women with early-stage breast cancer are more likely to live longer, healthier lives if they choose less radical surgery.

DCIS: Mostly Good News
DCIS is not the kind of cancer that can kill you. In 2009, experts from around the world met to discuss whether DCIS should be considered cancer, and how it should be treated. Read this article to find out more.

Mastectomies to Prevent Cancer
Do you have a family history of breast cancer? Do you have a cancer gene (BRCA1 or BRCA2)? Do you have a pre-cancerous breast condition? This article can help you decide whether or not to consider getting a prophylactic mastectomy to prevent cancer in the future.

DCIS, LCIS, and other Pre-Cancers: Are Women Getting Mastectomies They Don’t Need?
DCIS, LCIS, and other pre-cancerous conditions rarely require mastecomy. Read this article to help you decide whether you need surgery, and if so, what kind.

Unnecessary Mastectomies: Are Breast Cancer Patients Given Accurate Information About Their Options?
It is shocking but true: approximately one out of every two American women who have a breast removed as treatment for cancer do not need such radical surgery. The reasons why may surprise you.

The Breast Cancer Information Gap
Although breast implants often have the desirable effect of helping to improve a woman’s self-image and body symmetry, their safety remains controversial. The potential complications include pain, breakage, and a possible link to fibromyalgia and other diseases. Make sure you know what the risks are before you decide.

Are Breast Implants Safe for Cancer Patients?
There are 17 epidemiological studies that were supposed to determine whether breast implants cause connective-tissue diseases (also called autoimmune diseases). The conventional wisdom is that these studies prove that breast implants are safe, but a careful review of the results paints a different picture.

Type of Breast Cancer Surgery Has Little Impact on Quality of Life
Women whose breast cancer was treated by mastectomy, with or without reconstruction, have more physical symptoms after surgery than women treated by lumpectomy. But all the women feel similarly about their emotional health and quality of life.

The Need to Improve Informed Consent for Breast Cancer Patients
Many of the more than 182,000 women who will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer this year will not have access to all the information they need to make the surgical and treatment choices that are most appropriate for them.

Decisions in the Dark PDF >