Breast cancer awareness
Breast cancer awareness (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

Body Tip Women with early breast cancer may want to choose lumpectomy plus radiation instead of a mastectomy. It’s just as effective.

Women who have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer need not undergo a mastectomy to improve their rates of cure. According to the largest-ever observational study of women with early breast cancer, a lumpectomy plus radiation (aka breast-conserving therapy, or BCT) is at least as effective as a mastectomy. In fact, a study published in the journal Cancer found that women who opted for BCT had better survival rates than those who underwent mastectomies. These findings are especially significant for women who feel pressured to choose more aggressive surgery. Although women who were over age 50 at diagnosis and those whose tumors were hormone-receptor-positive showed the largest benefit from BCT, women of all ages showed better survival rates with lumpectomy and radiation. Researchers say these results should reassure women that breast-conserving surgery will not compromise their recovery.


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