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Researchers Weigh Lumpectomy Vs. Mastectomy for Breast Cancer

When women are confronted with the diagnosis of breast cancer, they often make the decision for a full mastectomy; logically thinking to get the cancer out fast and for good. A new study out shows that breast conservation procedures are more effective at keeping cancer away and prohibiting further complications. A new study published in the journal Cancer followed 112,154 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1990 and 2004. Around 55% of these patients opted for the breast-conserving therapy, which consists of a lumpectomy and radiation. About 45% of these women opted for a complete mastectomy with no radiation. Through the data, researchers found that women who chose to have the lumpectomy with radiation had a higher survival rate and fewer reoccurrences than the women who chose the mastectomy procedure.  In fact, women who chose the breast-conserving therapy had a 13% greater chance of survival than those who elected the mastectomy. Additionally, women older than 50 that also chose the breast-conserving therapy showed a 19% higher survival rate than their counterparts who chose the mastectomy. The study followed only women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, stage I and II, but included women with both tempered and aggressive forms of cancer. The research suggests that regardless of the type of cancer, lumpectomy with radiation not only offers the best chance of cancer survival, but it also reduces the risk of dying from additional complications, including heart disease. The study identified that in the first 3-years after treatment, women who received mastectomy were more likely to succumb to heart disease, or other related disease, than women who opted for the breast-conserving therapy. While mastectomy is gaining in popularity, giving off the idea that the procedure will completely remove the cancer for good, the lumpectomy appears to have the greatest health benefits. While it is each patient’s choice what to do with their bodies, it is suggested to look thoroughly at all of your options. In addition, one procedure may work well for one patient and not for another, so speak thoroughly with an oncologist about what options are best for you. Sources: Medical News Today - MedPage Today - Daily Mail Online U.K. - Health -
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