Health

All stages of breast cancer treatment

What care should women with breast cancer take and why should they follow these treatments? What are the risk of these complications and what are the different treatment steps for these people?

Women with primary breast cancer may live longer if they have less extensive surgery called a lumpectomy instead of mastectomy and then receive radiotherapy.

“I think these results give women important information to talk about with their doctor when deciding whether to treat primary breast cancer,” said lead researcher Ciben Sissling of the Netherlands Cancer Society.

A mastectomy means the removal of the entire breast, while a lumpectomy involves only the removal of a tumor with part of the surrounding tissue. Some studies have suggested that women with primary breast cancer have a better chance of surviving for 50 years after a lumpectomy.

A new study of 37,000 Dutch women found that the benefits could be long-term. Of the nearly 22,000 patients who underwent lumpectomy and radiation, 77 percent were still alive after 10 years. In comparison, this rate was 60% among women who underwent mastectomy without radiation. Radiation-free mastectomy is a common treatment for primary breast cancer.

Sisling noted that there were key differences between the two groups.

The study found that women who chose lumpectomy and radiation were younger and more likely to receive hormone therapy. But even with these differences in mind, women in the lumpectomy group were 21 percent more likely to survive 10 years.

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