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Ten-Year Follow-Up by AGH Doctors Confirms Effectiveness of Less-Invasive Surgery for Women With Early Stage Breast Cancer
Date:6/3/2013

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) June 03, 2013

A less invasive technique called sentinel node resection is as safe and effective as traditional surgery of removing all lymph nodes from the underarm area for women with breast cancer, according to a new study being presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting by oncologists from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) in Pittsburgh.

The 10-year follow up of the largest-ever Phase III trial comparing the two methods’ effect on breast cancer survival and recurrence shows no significant difference in overall survival or disease-free survival, said Thomas Julian, MD, Associate Director of the Breast Care Center at AGH and one of the clinical trial’s principal investigators, along with Norman Wolmark, MD, a surgical oncologist at AGH who serves as Chair of the NSABP. Dr. Julian presented the trial results this morning at the annual ASCO meeting in Chicago.

“Removal of lymph nodes can result in painful complications for women with breast cancer,” Dr. Julian said. “This 10-year follow-up shows that women with node-negative breast cancer, the most common kind, can feel confident that a less-invasive sentinel node resection is equally effective and safe. Sentinel node resection is clearly the standard of care for these women.”

Each year, more than 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer, and almost 40,000 will die from it. With early detection, the five-year survival rate is as high as 90 percent.

The study enrolled 5,611 women with invasive breast cancer over a period of five years and randomly assigned them to sentinel node resection alone or sentinel n
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