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Breast cancer: Does a double mastectomy actually help?

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Stacey Bowles inside the machine that uses radiation to treat her for breast cancer at the UCLA Heath Center in Santa Monica. She opted for a double mastectomy when she learned she had cancer, but a new study suggests that in young women mastectomies often had no affect on mortality rates.
Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC
Stacey Bowles inside the machine that uses radiation to treat her for breast cancer at the UCLA Heath Center in Santa Monica. She opted for a double mastectomy when she learned she had cancer, but a new study suggests that in young women mastectomies often had no affect on mortality rates.

A study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association says the more radical procedure is largely unnecessary. Why are more women choosing it?

More women with cancer in one breast are choosing to have both removed.

But, a study published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association says this more radical procedure is largely unnecessary.

KPCC's Elizabeth Aguilera looks at the complexities and emotions involved in treating breast cancer. 

Related: Questions raised about when to choose double mastectomy

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