Breast cancer treatment may be changing
Aug 8, 2011
A new study conducted by researchers of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that the removal of lymph nodes in the early stages of breast cancer may not have any effect on their survival rates.
Researchers studied 5,000 women with the disease and found that a sentinel lymph node dissection, which is closest to breast cancer tumors, had little to no difference between the survivors.
These findings, which was published in this month's Journal of the American Medical Association, may avoid the pain that women suffer when they go through lymph node removal surgery.
"Treating the patient doesn't end with stopping the cancer," Dr. Giuliano said. "We want to make sure we maximize the patient's quality of life even after cancer treatment is completed."
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will eventually be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetimes. It is also the second leading cancer cause of death in women, followed only by lung cancer. However, death rates have been decreasing since 1990.