Friday, December 17, 2010

Lumpectomy Better for Early-Stage Hormone-Negative

From the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium via WebMD

Women with early-stage hormone-negative breast cancer who undergo a lumpectomy—often called breast-conserving therapy—fare slightly better than those who undergo a mastectomy, according to research presented today. And women from both groups do well, with the great majority alive after four years.

Specifically, those under 50 with lumpectomies were 13 percent to 29 percent less likely to die from their cancer than women with mastectomies. Women over 50 with hormone-negative who underwent a lumpectomy were 17 percent less likely to die than those with a mastectomy. The variation in percentages relates to variations in tumor sizes.

Data on 114,277 women from the California Cancer Registry were evaluated; 62,770 of these had a lumpectomy followed by radiation and 51,507 had a mastectomy. Ninety-three percent of the lumpectomy group and 87 percent of the mastectomy group were alive four years after diagnosis.

Read Charlene Laino’s report on the study in WebMD.


Anonymous said...

Do you think this is because the lumpectomy women had radiation? I had a mastectomy, but I also had A LOT of radiation even though I was node negative. They said it was "insurance" in case I had stray cells and the chemo didn't get them. I think a retrospective study from the 2009 San Antonio conference showed improved DF survival rates for people who followed all treatment recommendations. The treatment most often rejected was radiation and there was a 10% difference in disease free survival. I am glad I had radiation.

Patricia Prijatel said...

It seems they do a report on this in San Antonio every year and the results vary slightly each year. Yes, radiation is standard after a lumpectomy but not after a mastectomy, so that could be the essential variable. I have not seen this latest paper--only the report on it--so I don't know about treatments. Docs typically do radiation after mastectomy with large tumors and multiple affected nodes, so you might be right that your "insurance" was a lifesaver.