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Georgetown researchers examine 21-year series of nipple sparing mastectomy cases and find no cancers
Date:10/27/2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A new study suggests some women needing a lumpectomy or mastectomy to treat their breast cancer have another potential option that is safe and effective, say researchers at Georgetown. They say the procedure known as a nipple sparing mastectomy is also a viable surgical option for women who choose to have their breasts removed because of their increased risk of developing the disease. For both groups of women, the surgery offers a chance for a more natural looking and normal feeling reconstructed breast as compared to other forms of mastectomy.

Nipple sparing mastectomy (NSM) involves the removal of the breast tissue while keeping intact the breast skin and nipple areola complex, which includes the nipple and darker pigmented circle of skin that surrounds it. The breast is usually reconstructed immediately.

A long standing concern with this type of surgery is that cancer cells might be left under the nipple, posing a threat over time. To examine the effectiveness of NSM, surgeons conducted a review of patient records for all women receiving the surgery at Georgetown University Hospital (GUH) between 1989 and 2010 including surgeries to either prevent or treat breast cancer. The results are published in the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

"Our findings were reassuring. Of the 162 surgeries performed, we found no cancer recurrences and no new cancers in those receiving NSM," says Scott Spear, M.D., professor of plastic surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center and chairman of the department of plastic surgery at GUH. "The nipple-sparing technique is not appropriate for every patient depending upon their anatomy and type of breast pathology. Careful selection of the right patient for NSM is an important element of success."

Some patients who received NSM at Georgetown had early-stage cancer or DCIS, which can beco
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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