A new study finds that for certain women, a lumpectomy, now a standard treatment for breast cancer, may not be necessary. The surgery does not prolong survival or prevent recurrence of the cancer.
Another study also showed that a single dose of radiation, delivered directly to the site of the tumor right after lumpectomy, was as effective as six weeks of daily radiation treatments, the current standard practice.
The New York Times reports:
“There is some controversy about whether women should be treated at all for certain early breast abnormalities that some experts say may never hurt them. But if a woman is to be treated, doctors would agree the treatment should be as painless and convenient as possible while retaining effectiveness.”
New York Times June 7, 2010
Annals of Surgery April 2010; 251(4):601-3