Long Term Survival Is The Same
self exams or mammograms
leads to a series of decisions. First comes the biopsy, then the
diagnosis. If the lump turns out to be early breast cancer there
are two options for surgery.
mastectomy removes most of the breast tissue in the affected breast
and lymph nodes that may have cancer cells.
lumpectomy removes only the lump, any tissue surrounding the tumor
that may have cancer cells, and any lymph nodes that may be involved.
less of the breast tissue usually means faster healing with less
complications. The lumpectomy is also cosmetically less drastic.
Decideing which surgery is best can be a difficult decision for
breast cancer patients and their health care team. A recent finding
may make this decision a little easier.
a study presented at the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology
and Oncologys Annual Meeting in New Orleans in October 2002
and updated in the August 2003 issue of Cancer Online,
cancer patients who underwent lumpectomies fared just as well as
patients who had mastectomies.
the original study, 247 patients with clinical stage I and II breast
cancer were randomly assigned to undergo either modified radical
mastectomy or lumpectomy, axillary dissection and radiation therapy.
patients who underwent randomization and have now been followed
for a median 18.4 years showed an
overall survival rate of 58 percent for patients assigned to mastectomy
and 54 percent for patients assigned to lumpectomy plus radiation.
was no statistically significant difference in survival between
the two groups. Disease- free survival at 18 years was 67 percent
for the patients assigned to mastectomy and 63 percent for those
assigned to lumpectomy plus radiation.
findings contribute to the growing body of research that suggests
that lumpectomy can be just as effective as mastectomy in treating
breast cancer, said Matthew M. Poggi, M.D., of the Radiation
Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute and lead author
of the study. This is valuable information for women to have
when they are considering the many treatment options that exist.
were more recurrences in women who had the lumpectomy. These were
normally treated by a mastectomy, but did not change the survival
outcome of this study suggests that lumpectomies can be as safe
as the more drastic mastectomy. but closer follow up during the
years after the surgery is necessary.
The American Society
for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, Inc.,
Online Journal [Abstract]