Women all across America are being conned into medically unnecessary breast removal surgery (bilateral mastectomy surgery) by doctors who scare them with “fake science” by falsely describing genetic testing results, warn researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Women who have harmless genetic variants called VUS (Variants of Uncertain Significance) are falsely being told by nearly half of all breast cancer surgeons that they have the “breast cancer gene” (BRCA1 or BRCA2) and therefore must have the surgery to save their lives. Famously, Angelina Jolie underwent a bilateral mastectomy after being told she carried the gene for breast cancer, but these new findings by Stanford researchers call into question whether her surgery was medically necessary at all.
In essence, Stanford University researchers reveal that unscrupulous cancer surgeons are defrauding patients with “fake science” scare tactics. This is also raising health care expenditures of pension programs, private insurance and public insurance systems such as Obamacare, causing governments to waste huge amounts of money on medically unjustified surgery. Not coincidentally, the more dishonest cancer surgeons can scare women into agreeing to surgical procedures, the more money they make for themselves (regardless of the medical necessity of the procedure). In essence, the “fake science” of misinterpreting genetic testing results has become a lucrative revenue source for the breast cancer surgery industry.
“Our findings suggest a limited understanding among physicians and patients of the meaning of genetic testing results,” said Allison Kurian, MD, associate professor of medicine and of health research and policy at Stanford, as reported in this Stanford media release.
In other words, it’s incredibly easy for doctors to trick patients with sciency-sounding scare stories, knowing that few patients can interpret genetic testing results on their own. Dr. Kurian goes on to explain that doctors are knowingly scaring women who have these non-risky variants into falsely believing they have “breast cancer genes.”
She explains, “Clinical practice guidelines state that variants of uncertain significance should not be considered to confer high cancer risk, and that patients with these variants should be counseled similarly to a patient whose genetic test is normal. However, many of the physicians surveyed in our study stated that they manage these patients in the same way as they do patients with mutations known to increase a woman’s risk.” …