A new analysis has found that lumpectomy plus radiation for early breast cancer may provide patients with a better chance of survival than mastectomy. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the results provide confidence in the efficacy of breast-conserving treatments even among patients with aggressive, early disease.
Lumpectomy combined with radiation is a good treatment choice for women with early breast cancer; however, over the past 10 years, a growing number of women have been choosing mastectomy even for very small cancers. In certain populations—such as women who are young and those living in urban areas with high socioeconomic status—this trend has been most pronounced due to the perception that outcomes may be better with mastectomy than with lumpectomy.
Shelley Hwang MD, MPH, of the Duke Cancer Institute, and her colleagues looked to see whether some populations of women do in fact have better outcomes after mastectomy compared with lumpectomy and radiation. The researchers obtained information regarding all women who were diagnosed in the state of California with stage I or II breast cancer between 1990 and 2004 and who were treated with either mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation. The investigators followed 112,154 cases through 2009, and they looked for patterns among different age groups and across different breast cancer types.
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