A study done by researchers from Utrecht, Netherlands showed that breast cancer patients should consider lumpectomy. They discovered that the chances of life were higher for the women who removed only the lump in their breast. This was proved to be more efficient also because the treatment of the women who had lumpectomies also included radiotherapy.
Mastectomy consists of the surgical removal of one or both breasts, completely or partially. Lumpectomy consists in the removal of the breast tissue that contains the tumor. Only a small portion is taken and a surrounding healthy margin that ensures that the breast is protected. Both lumpectomy and mastectomy are considered local therapies, because they only target the tumor area, as opposed to chemotherapy or immunotherapy. When it comes to choosing one of them, factors like breast size, the aggressiveness of the cancer or the number of lesions are often taken into consideration by the doctors.
The study included data collected from 37,000 women who had breast cancer. It appears that the women who had lumpectomies followed by radiotherapy had an increased 77% chance of living for another 10 years. On the other side, the women who had mastectomies which weren’t followed by radiotherapy had a chance of surviving in the next 10 years of 60%.
The study lead author, professor Sabine Siesling said that the findings of the study will help improve the breast cancer treatment in the future. There is a problem though. According to Siesling, the women who opt for lumpectomies are usually younger. She added that the radiation therapy could be the factor that increases the life chance of these women affected by cancer. She recommended the breast conserving treatment as the top choice, especially when the cancer is diagnosed early.
These results show that in most cases, a mastectomy isn’t needed. The lumpectomy could be a better way to fight breast cancer and it is also a less invasive treatment. The most important thing though is for women to have access to this kind of information in order to know they have more than one choice.
An adviser from Cancer Research UK said that other studies showed that women survive for the same amount of time, no matter if they choose mastectomy or lumpectomy. Professor Arnie Purushotham also said that both treatments are efficient and doctors offer the best solution for their specific type of cancer. Breast cancer patients should consider lumpectomy tough, as it is less traumatic than a mastectomy.
Image Source: www.upload.wikimedia.org