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Less invasive surgery may be suitable for some breast cancer sufferers, says study

Published on 21/09/2010
Some breast cancer sufferers with private medical cover could benefit from a less invasive form of surgery than that normally used.

Commonly, doctors decide to remove all the lymph nodes of those with breast cancer, as they are usually the first place the disease spreads to.

But the operation, known as an axillary-lymph node dissection, can often come with serious side effects, such as lymphedema - a chronic swelling of the arm.

Now, researchers from Canada and the US have found evidence to suggest that, in cases where the cancer is caught early, this type of surgery is not needed.

Instead, a less aggressive form of surgery, where only one set of lymph nodes are removed, could be just as effective.

Published in the journal Lancet Oncology, the scientists monitored 5,611 early breast cancer patients whose disease had not yet spread to their lymph nodes.

About half were assigned to get both surgeries. The other half were given only the less severe operation to remove one set of lymph nodes.

After eight years of tracking the patients, no difference in the patients' survival rates was found, reports the Associated Press.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women under the age of 35.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
Less invasive surgery may be suitable for some breast cancer sufferers, says studySome breast cancer sufferers with private medical cover could benefit from a less invasive form of surgery than that normally used.Commonly,    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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