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Young women with early breast cancer have similar survival with breast conservation, mastectomy
Date:9/7/2011

Baltimore, MD Sept. 6, 2011 Young women with early-stage breast cancer have similar survival rates with a lumpectomy and radiation treatment, known as breast-conservation therapy, as with mastectomy, a new study conducted at the University of Maryland has found. The results of the analysis of nearly 15,000 patients listed in a nationwide cancer registry will be presented at the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium to be held Sept. 8-11 in San Francisco.

Steven J. Feigenberg, M.D., a radiation oncologist at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center and an associate professor of radiation oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, says that mastectomies among young women have been on the rise, in part because of concerns regarding recurrence of their cancer.

"We believe these findings are very significant for young women with early-stage breast cancer who might choose to have a mastectomy in the hope of improving their outcome. This study confirms that breast-conservation therapy is a safe, effective treatment option and will not have a detrimental effect on survival," Dr. Feigenberg, the study's senior author, says.

He says this is the largest study to date to compare survival in young women with early-stage breast cancer who had breast-conservation therapy vs. mastectomy. Women under 40 can have more aggressive tumors and are often at higher risk for having their cancer recur. Previous studies have suggested that young women have higher local recurrences of their cancer with breast-conservation therapy, but these studies did not demonstrate an effect on survival, Dr. Feigenberg says.

Usama Mahmood, M.D., the lead author, says, "We looked at data from nearly 15,000 women in our retrospective analysis and saw no difference in survival between those who had breast-conservation therapy and those who had a mastectomy." Dr. Mahmood, a resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the
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Contact: Karen Warmkessel
kwarmkessel@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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