Breast-Conserving Therapy Gets Boost for Younger Women
Lumpectomy Plus Radiation Has Just as Good Survival as Mastectomy, Studies Suggest
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"If you have lumpectomy, you have to have radiation, and that's typically six weeks of treatment, nearly every day. Patients feel very tired. There can be skin changes and other problems.
"Some women prefer to have a mastectomy and be done, though that often means breast reconstruction surgery," Buckley says.
She says she doesn't know of any studies comparing the long-term costs of the two procedures in younger women.
"Age is no longer a reason to reject breast-conserving treatment," says American Society of Clinical Oncology spokesman Andrew Seidman, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
That said, there are certain younger women who might benefit more from mastectomy, he tells WebMD. They include women with pockets of tumor cells in more than one area of the breast and those who have BRCA gene mutations, which increase women’s risk for breast cancer, Seidman says.
In 2011, there will be an estimated 290,000 new cases of breast cancer in the U.S.
Mahmood conducted much of his research while at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center.