Identical twins share breast cancer, rare surgery

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Associated Press

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Identical twins who both had breast cancer are recovering after rare reconstruction surgery at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Surgeons used one sister's abdominal tissue to create a breast for her twin. There have only been a handful of breast reconstruction surgeries using donated tissue from an identical twin. The sisters are from Crown Point, Ind., and at age 34 they're among the youngest.

Kelly McCarthy got the tissue from her twin Kristen Maurer. They've always been close, but now Kelly says she feels even closer because her twin's tissue is implanted over her heart.

Since the twins are identical, the tissue transplanted Tuesday was a perfect genetic match. And that eliminates the need for anti-rejection medicine.

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