Non TV-Related Story, But Probably the Most Important Story of the Day: Changing the Conventional Wisdom of How Breast Cancer Has Been Treated for Years, A New Study Shows Breast Cancer Patients Do Well Without Surgery to Remove Lymph Nodes Under Arms

Feb 9, 2011  •  Post A Comment

"Many women being treated for early breast cancer can keep the lymph nodes under their arms without fear that it will hurt their chances of survival or the increase the odds that their cancer will return, experts say," reports WebMD.

The article continues, "A new study shows that about 92% of women with early-stage breast cancers that have spread to a nearby lymph node who have lumpectomies and radiation to treat their tumors will be alive five years later, whether or not they have multiple lymph nodes removed from under their arms, a procedure called an axillary lymph node dissection."

Notes the story, "The traditional treatment of breast cancer had been to remove the lymph nodes underneath the arm,” says Grant W. Carlson, MD, a breast cancer surgeon at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta. ‘That thought probably lasted over 50 years, then we realized that a lot of cancers spread through the bloodstream first, or at the same time as they are spreading through the lymph nodes, and that removing the lymph nodes isn’t curative in and of itself,’ says Carlson who co-authored an editorial that accompanied the study."

One Comment

  1. Your spin is too positive. It’s not that they do well without surgery. Instead they do “no better” with the surgery. It suggests that the cure rate is equally bad for advanced breast cancer, which is hardly a cause for celebration.

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