In a nutshell
This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy with mastectomy in the treatment of breast cancer. The authors found that the patients who had breast conserving therapy with radiation survived longer than those who had mastectomy.
The treatment options for breast cancer usually include surgery, which may be total removal of the breast (mastectomy) or breast conserving surgery with radiotherapy. There has been discussion for a long time as to which of these treatment options offers better survival in breast cancer. Some clinicians think that totally removing the breast means there is less likely to be recurrence of the cancer, however this is debated. It is important to research which treatment is more effective.
Methods & findings
This study took place between 2000 and 2004. 2767 patients were included in the study. 429 (15.5%) had total mastectomy with no radiation therapy, and 2338 (84.5%) had breast conserving surgery with whole breast radiation therapy.
The authors found that 79.5% of the breast conserving surgery patients survived for 13 years after surgery, compared to 64.3% in the mastectomy group. Specifically regarding breast cancer, 90.5% of the breast conserving surgery patients did not die of breast cancer after 13 years, compared to 84% of the mastectomy group.
The bottom line
The study concluded that breast conserving therapy with radiation offered better survival overall compared to total mastectomy.
The fine print
This was a large study with highly significant results. All the patients in this study had small tumors so larger tumors may not respond to this treatment as effectively.
If you are considering treatment options for breast cancer, discuss these trial results with your oncologist.
Published By :
British Journal of Surgery
Jun 21, 2018
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