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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Risk-reducing mastectomy for the prevention of primary breast cancer

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (89th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (59th percentile)

Mentioned by

31 tweeters
3 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


86 Dimensions

Readers on

303 Mendeley
Risk-reducing mastectomy for the prevention of primary breast cancer
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, April 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd002748.pub4
Pubmed ID

Nora E Carbine, Liz Lostumbo, Judi Wallace, Henry Ko


Recent progress in understanding the genetic basis of breast cancer and widely publicized reports of celebrities undergoing risk-reducing mastectomy (RRM) have increased interest in RRM as a method of preventing breast cancer. This is an update of a Cochrane Review first published in 2004 and previously updated in 2006 and 2010. (i) To determine whether risk-reducing mastectomy reduces death rates from any cause in women who have never had breast cancer and in women who have a history of breast cancer in one breast, and (ii) to examine the effect of risk-reducing mastectomy on other endpoints, including breast cancer incidence, breast cancer mortality, disease-free survival, physical morbidity, and psychosocial outcomes. For this Review update, we searched Cochrane Breast Cancer's Specialized Register, MEDLINE, Embase and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) on 9 July 2016. We included studies in English. Participants included women at risk for breast cancer in at least one breast. Interventions included all types of mastectomy performed for the purpose of preventing breast cancer. At least two review authors independently abstracted data from each report. We summarized data descriptively; quantitative meta-analysis was not feasible due to heterogeneity of study designs and insufficient reporting. We analyzed data separately for bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy (BRRM) and contralateral risk-reducing mastectomy (CRRM). Four review authors assessed the methodological quality to determine whether or not the methods used sufficiently minimized selection bias, performance bias, detection bias, and attrition bias. All 61 included studies were observational studies with some methodological limitations; randomized trials were absent. The studies presented data on 15,077 women with a wide range of risk factors for breast cancer, who underwent RRM.Twenty-one BRRM studies looking at the incidence of breast cancer or disease-specific mortality, or both, reported reductions after BRRM, particularly for those women with BRCA1/2 mutations. Twenty-six CRRM studies consistently reported reductions in incidence of contralateral breast cancer but were inconsistent about improvements in disease-specific survival. Seven studies attempted to control for multiple differences between intervention groups and showed no overall survival advantage for CRRM. Another study showed significantly improved survival following CRRM, but after adjusting for bilateral risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (BRRSO), the CRRM effect on all-cause mortality was no longer significant.Twenty studies assessed psychosocial measures; most reported high levels of satisfaction with the decision to have RRM but greater variation in satisfaction with cosmetic results. Worry over breast cancer was significantly reduced after BRRM when compared both to baseline worry levels and to the groups who opted for surveillance rather than BRRM, but there was diminished satisfaction with body image and sexual feelings.Seventeen case series reporting on adverse events from RRM with or without reconstruction reported rates of unanticipated reoperations from 4% in those without reconstruction to 64% in participants with reconstruction.In women who have had cancer in one breast, removing the other breast may reduce the incidence of cancer in that other breast, but there is insufficient evidence that this improves survival because of the continuing risk of recurrence or metastases from the original cancer. Additionally, thought should be given to other options to reduce breast cancer risk, such as BRRSO and chemoprevention, when considering RRM. While published observational studies demonstrated that BRRM was effective in reducing both the incidence of, and death from, breast cancer, more rigorous prospective studies are suggested. BRRM should be considered only among those at high risk of disease, for example, BRCA1/2 carriers. CRRM was shown to reduce the incidence of contralateral breast cancer, but there is insufficient evidence that CRRM improves survival, and studies that control for multiple confounding variables are recommended. It is possible that selection bias in terms of healthier, younger women being recommended for or choosing CRRM produces better overall survival numbers for CRRM. Given the number of women who may be over-treated with BRRM/CRRM, it is critical that women and clinicians understand the true risk for each individual woman before considering surgery. Additionally, thought should be given to other options to reduce breast cancer risk, such as BRRSO and chemoprevention when considering RRM.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 31 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 303 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 303 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 50 17%
Student > Bachelor 43 14%
Researcher 28 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 26 9%
Other 25 8%
Other 62 20%
Unknown 69 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 115 38%
Nursing and Health Professions 34 11%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 13 4%
Psychology 12 4%
Social Sciences 8 3%
Other 38 13%
Unknown 83 27%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 22. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 07 February 2020.
All research outputs
of 17,467,242 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,697 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 287,063 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 201 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,467,242 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,697 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.1. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 287,063 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 89% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 201 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 59% of its contemporaries.