September 2003
Article Features
  Age Bias in Breast Cancer Treatment
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Estrogen Found as Link Between Obesity and Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women
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Breast Cancer Program for Low-Income Women Suggests Importance of Access to Screening
New Study Reinforces Value of Annual Mammogram After 40
Physicians' Emotional Responses to Patients' Deaths Increase with Care Length
Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Survival is Widening
Study Examines Limited-Field Radiation for Early Breast Cancer
Quitting Smoking May Improve Cancer Patients' Health and Treatment Outcomes
SPORE Grant Boosts Breast Cancer Research

No Differences in Survival with Mastectomy vs. Breast Conservation Therapy

After approximately 20 years follow-up there was no difference in survival between women with early breast cancer treated with mastectomy or with breast conservation therapy (BCT), according to a study published in the journal Cancer.

Led by Matthew M. Poggi of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, researchers concluded that these findings are consistent with previous studies that show similar long-term overall and disease-free survival for mastectomy and BCT for the treatment of early breast cancer. Long-term disease recurrence in the treated breast occurred in patients treated with BCT at higher rates than previously reported and occurred as late as 20 years after treatment. These results underscore the efficacy and safety of breast conserving lumpectomy and radiation in the treatment of early breast cancer.

While there are no long-term survival differences between the two treatment modalities, "long-term in-breast events continue to be observed throughout the entire follow-up period" of 20 years in patients treated with BCT, conclude the authors, "and therefore warrant diligent surveillance."

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