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Mastectomy Needless for Early Cancer

Many Women Not Told That Breast-Conserving Surgery Is an Option

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In fact, for the past 15 years, lumpectomy has been an accepted alternative. There are laws in some 30 states stating that a physician must inform a woman that she is eligible for either procedure, says Brawley.

Yet despite all the scientific data, "which is unequaled in the literature on the local treatment of cancer, many women today are not offered the option of breast-conserving therapy," writes Monica Morrow, MD, in an editorial accompanying both studies. She is a researcher with the Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago.

Morrow and colleagues found that only 43% of women with early-stage breast cancers were being treated with the breast-conserving approach, she writes. Lumpectomy is still "viewed as a less-aggressive therapy appropriate for only for women with a good prognosis," she writes.

"It is time to declare the case against breast-conserving therapy closed and focus our efforts on new strategies for the prevention and cure of breast cancer," Morrow says.

Says Brawley, "I'm happy, thrilled, that these two authors are able to say, 'I told you so.'" -->

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