43-year-old Sandy O'brien is making a choice that is becoming more and more familiar. Despite being diagnosed with early breast cancer in one breast, a form that can usually be treated in a way that allows women to keep their breasts, many women are now choosing a more drastic option.
"If they take them first then cancer can't get them."
Sandy's having both breasts removed, even though, according to her doctor, having lumpectomies, which would spare her breasts, is a reasonable option.
"It doesn't change survival. The survival is really based on the stage of that cancer that we know about in the one breast and how they respond to treatment," said Dr. Kristen Brill from Cooper University Hospital.
However, Dr. Brill does say a mastectomy eliminates the risk of recurrence and developing cancer in the opposite breast.
So why are so many women doing it?
"Quality of life, peace of mind. For some women they see quality of life as being able to keep the breast. Others see quality of life as not having to worry about local recurrence or breast cancer in the opposite breast," said Dr. Brill.
She says some women are just ready to say good bye to the emotional roller coaster of regular follow ups.
But it's not an easy decision.
"Um, it's emotional and it's hard," says Sandy. But she hopes her choice will give her more time with her children.
"My kids are my world. I want to enjoy it."