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Friday, December 11, 2015

Lumpectomy And Radiation May Be Superior To Mastectomy For Patients With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

The Washington Post (12/11, Bernstein) reports on a study that finds that, among “37,207 women who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 2000 and 2004,” the women who had “breast-conserving surgery plus radiation had a 10-year survival rate of 76.8 percent,” compared to a 59.7 percent survival rate for “women who had mastectomies.” Lead author Sabine Siesling concluded, “If it’s medically feasible and it’s the choice of the patient, then the patient has a better prognosis,” for lumpectomy and radiation.

 

Medscape (12/11, Mulcahy) reports that the study found that “the relative risk for death after 10 years was nearly 20% lower” for those who opted for lumpectomy and radiation, than for the women who chose “mastectomy alone.” Siesling concluded, “breast-conserving therapy should be the treatment of choice, especially in small tumors, when it is medically feasible.”

 

NPR (12/10, Neighmond) reports in its “Shots” blog on a separate study that concludes, “an increasing number of women are opting for the most aggressive option — mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction,” and even “asking that both breasts be removed.” This study indicates “that mastectomy with reconstruction is more costly and has more complications after surgery than lumpectomy with whole-breast irradiation, while the rate of cancer recurrence and survival is essentially the same.”

 

TIME (12/11, Sifferlin) characterized the Smith study as showing “that mastectomies followed by breast reconstruction was both costlier and came with more complications than lumpectomies (sometimes referred to as breast-conserving therapy) followed by radiation.”

 

HealthDay (12/11, Norton) also covered both studies, reporting that the first indicated that “women with early stage breast cancer may survive longer” by choosing “lumpectomy, followed by radiation, rather than a mastectomy.” The second found that mastectomy and reconstruction cost an average of “$89,000 for women with private insurance,” compared to “just under $66,000” for lumpectomy and radiation.


Medscape (12/11, Osterweil) carries a quote from Smith: “Our data would suggest that lumpectomy plus whole-breast irradiation is a high value treatment for younger women, and either lumpectomy alone or lumpectomy plus whole breast irradiation are the highest value treatments for older women.” 
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