Lumpectomy versus Mastectomy for Early Stage Invasive Breast Cancer

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“Women with early-stage invasive breast cancer who undergo breast-conserving therapy (BCT) have a higher rate of disease-specific survival than those who undergo mastectomy

As the study linked below explains, lumpectomy, or breast conserving surgery (BCT), is both less invasive therapy for the patient as well as has a higher rate of disease-specific survival. In layperson’s terms, breast cancer patients who have a lumpectomy and BCT have less surgery and live longer.

Further, there are dozens of evidenced-based but non-toxic therapies that can reduce the risk of breast cancer relapse. Nutrition, supplementation, detoxification, frequent, moderate exercise, all have been shown to reduce a person’s risk of breast cancer relapse.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. Painful experience has taught me that less is often more in cancer care. The studies linked and excerpted below explain why this is true.

Have you been diagnosed with breast cancer? If you would like to learn more about evidence-based, non-toxic therapies please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

Thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

SEER Study: Less Surgery, Longer Breast Cancer Survival

“Women with early-stage invasive breast cancer who undergo breast-conserving therapy (BCT) have a higher rate of disease-specific survival than those who undergo mastectomy, according to an analysis published online January 15 in JAMA Surgery

Nonetheless, the 10-year breast-cancer-specific survival rates were 94% for patients who underwent BCT, 90% for those who underwent mastectomy alone, and 83% for those who underwent mastectomy plus radiation (P < .001)...

Dr. McGuire noted that the study by Dr. Hwang’s team and this study are part of a growing body of evidence indicating that BCT is “equivalent, if not superior, to mastectomy in terms of breast-cancer-specific survival.”

For Young Women, Breast Conserving Surgery May Be Acceptable Alternative to Mastectomy

… support [the idea] that breast conserving surgery with lumpectomy and radiation is an excellent option for young women, and may be the … stated the researchers. These new results suggest “that lumpectomy is indeed a safe option for young women,” said Dr. Buckley during …

Lumpectomy vs. Mastectomy for Early Stage Invasive Breast Cancer-

“A new study called “Decision Making about Surgery for Early-Stage Breast Cancer” finds that the women studied had major deficits in their knowledge about the pros and cons of having either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy followed by radiation.  For the purposes of this study, early breast cancer was defined as stage one or stage two invasive breast cancer.

Accurate and thorough knowledge is essential for anyone making decisions about cancer treatment.  Even though each cancer is unique, I would love to see some kind of standardized decision-making tools that would attempt to provide basic percentage chances of success with various treatment choices.

Because I believe there are significant differences between stage 1 and certain stage 2 breast cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes, I would like to see tools for both stages.  I also believe that decision-making is different for those who are premenopausal as opposed to post-menopausal and this should somehow be addressed.  It would also be beneficial if every woman understood exactly what is meant by “survival rate.”  For many studies it means you are considered to have survived if you live five years.  Most women currently diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will survive five years and eventually die of something other than breast cancer.  I certainly did not know this at the time of my diagnosis.

In this particular study, women were asked to recollect what they were told at the time of their diagnosis.  The studies were mailed to them approximately 1 to 3 years after diagnosis (the average was 2 1/2 years).  Even though it has been 8 years since my diagnosis, I decided to look up the study and attempt to answer the questions.  I was very surprised to discover a misconception I had about local recurrence rates for those who chose lumpectomy followed by radiation as opposed to who chose mastectomy.  I thought the recurrence chances were equal and was nearly certain that is what I had been told.  But, they are not quite equal.  There is a slightly higher risk of the cancer recurring in the same breast with lumpectomy and radiation as opposed to mastectomy.  It is the survival rate that is equal.

I checked the excellent notes my daughter took during my early appointments.  According to the notes, my surgeon said that the risk of recurrence for mastectomy was 3-5% and for lumpectomy followed by radiation it was around approximately 7%, although it had only just fallen to that percentage after years of the figure being 10-12%.  I had no recollection of having received this information.

The questionnaire asked how many women out of 100 would have their cancer come back in the treated breast if they were treated with lumpectomy and radiation or with mastectomy.  The study says the accurate answer is 2%-10% for mastectomy and 5%-15% for lumpectomy and radiation…

Women who have just been told that they have breast cancer are commonly in an emotional and fearful state of mind.  Some women apparently want to do every possible thing that will give them even a tiny additional chance of survival.  Others are somewhat willing to accept certain risks to avoid overtreatment with its potential long-term negative effects.  In either case, accurate and undistorted information is needed to assist in this decision-making.

Link to the study abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22056355

Science Daily article about the study: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120110140231.htm

Mary Miller- BC survivor and BC Profile in Courage


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