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Less invasive treatment may increase survival in early stage breast cancer
Date:1/27/2013

her explore outcomes of breast-conserving treatments in the general population comparing outcomes between younger and older women," Hwang said.

The team analyzed data from 112,154 women diagnosed with stage I or stage II breast cancer between 1990 and 2004, including 61,771 who received lumpectomy and radiation and 50,383 who had mastectomy without radiation. They looked at age and other demographic factors, along with tumor type and size to decipher whether each treatment had better outcomes for certain groups of women. Patients were followed on average for 9.2 years.

The researchers evaluated whether illnesses other than breast cancer, such as heart and respiratory disease, may have influenced whether women chose lumpectomy or mastectomy. Within three years of diagnosis, breast cancer patients who underwent lumpectomy and radiation had higher survival rates than those who chose mastectomy when all other illnesses were evaluated. This suggests that women choosing lumpectomy may have been generally healthier.

Hwang and her colleagues were surprised to also find that early stage breast cancer patients treated with mastectomy had a significantly lower survival rate from breast cancer than women who underwent lumpectomy with radiation.

"We found that lumpectomy plus radiation was an effective alternative to mastectomy for early stage disease, regardless of age or tumor type," said Hwang. "Even patients we thought might benefit less from localized treatment, like younger patients with hormone-resistant disease, can remain confident in lumpectomy as an equivalent and possibly better treatment option."


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Contact: Rachel Harrison
rachel.harrison@duke.edu
919-419-5069
Duke University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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