Less Is More? Less Invasive Treatment May Offer Better Breast Cancer Patient Results

Patients with early stage breast cancer who were treated with lumpectomy plus radiation may have a better chance of survival compared with those who underwent mastectomy, according to Duke Medicine research in this report from CBS.

The study appears online in the journal CANCER.

E. Shelley Hwang, M.D., MPH, chief of breast surgery at Duke Cancer Institute and the study’s lead author, said:

“Our findings are observational but suggest the possibility that women who were treated with less invasive surgery had improved survival compared to those treated with mastectomy for stage I or stage II breast cancer.”

Dr. Hwang continues:

“The hopeful message is that lumpectomy plus radiation was an effective alternative to mastectomy for early stage disease, regardless of age or tumor type.”

Dr. Rache Simmons, the Chief of Breast Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College, offered a less optimistic review in the interview above, saying she “reserves skepticism” on the study, which suggests that “lumpectomy plus radiation actually has survival advantage over mastectomy.”

She explained that the study was retrospective, and that retrospective studies “always have an element of bias.”

Access the full study at this link to the journal CANCER.

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