Mastectomy Can Actually Lower Chance of Surviving
Lumpectomy with radiotherapy is more effective: breast cancer study
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2013 7:08 AM CST
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – You may think a mastectomy is a safer bet than a lumpectomy for those diagnosed with breast cancer. But a new study of more than 100,000 women with the disease finds that for those who catch it in its early stages, the opposite is actually true. Women diagnosed with stage one or two breast cancer who chose a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy, rather than a mastectomy, were 13% more likely to survive the disease. And in women over age 50, that number jumped to 19%, the Daily Mail reports.

The decade-long Duke Cancer Institute study gives credence to experts who believe that radiotherapy, a five- to six-week treatment, is more effective than a mastectomy at eliminating any remaining cancer cells. It's an especially important finding since there has recently been "interest in mastectomy to treat early stage breast cancers, despite the research supporting lumpectomy," explains the lead researcher.

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Showing 3 of 7 comments
Jamesd.
Jan 30, 2013 10:12 PM CST
Do people ever wonder why we've seen such a dramatic increase in breast cancer over the past 50+ years? Research has concluded one of the certain risk factors is associated with the use of birth control pills... which pose anywhere from a 50-65% increased risk for breast cancer. Many breast cancer specialists cite family history and birth control pills as the number 1 and 2 risk factors. So now you know....
spookster
Jan 30, 2013 12:38 PM CST
@newser-9a66caccca2f2ec87cd11eb9ef58f32d:disqus Well, certainly the breast isn't worth anything, right? And the fact that survival is better with lumpectomy, meaning the woman's LIFE isn't worth anything? Because this story isn't about one costing more, it's about one having a better survival rate.
mehrheit
Jan 28, 2013 2:37 PM CST
Radiotherapy ain't cheap. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they decided to use craniotomy + radiotherapy on me, rather than a full brain-ectomy. But when I saw the hospital bills for the six-and-a-half weeks of radiation… good Lord that's a lot o' money.   Thankfully my former employer got stuck with the tab. You see, a COBRA isn't always choosy about whom it strikes. Kinda makes up for the "cost savings" of those Indian programmers you replaced me with, dunnit?