Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast Cancer Research May Lead To Fewer Mastectomies

Date:
December 19, 2001
Source:
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Summary:
Women with breast cancer which fails to show up in routine scanning do not necessarily need a mastectomy to maximise their chances of survival, according to research by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

Women with breast cancer which fails to show up in routine scanning do not necessarily need a mastectomy to maximise their chances of survival, according to research by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

A study led by Tom Lennard, head of the Department of Surgery, found that surgical removal of the tumour, rather than the whole breast, was equally effective at preventing a recurrence of the cancer despite the fact that tumours which escaped detection tended to be large and aggressive.

Breast cancer sufferers who have had false-negative scans are frequently advised to have mastectomies because of concern that the tumour might otherwise recur but be difficult to detect by scanning in check-ups.

Mr Lennard and his team have changed their policy as a result of their findings and are now advising false-negative breast cancer patients at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle to have treatment which is appropriate to factors including the type and extent of the tumour. This will frequently involve less radical surgery than a mastectomy.

Each year 38,000 women are newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK and 13,100 die from the disease. Scanning, or mammography, is the mainstay of diagnosis although it is common knowledge that about one in ten women with breast cancer will produce false-negative results because the tumour is ‘mammographically invisible.’

The Newcastle research was based on a computer search of medical records which identified 40 women in Northern England who developed breast cancer within six months of having a negative mammogram.

All except one patient agreed to have surgical treatment. Seventeen had mastectomies, with a further eight going on to have this treatment after initially having only the tumour removed. The remaining 14 patients had their tumours removed and radiotherapy.

Only in one case was there recurrence of the tumour which had been surgically removed and this patient went on to have a mastectomy. Four other patients who developed tumours in their other breast also had mastectomies.

Eighteen months after treatment, 34 of the women were clear of the disease, one was awaiting surgery after developing secondary cancer and five had died from breast cancer.

Mr Lennard, who is also a consultant surgeon, believes that all breast cancer specialists should review their policy of advising ‘false negative’ patients, following the publication of the research findings in the current edition of the academic journal, The Breast.

As part of the study, the Newcastle team examined the factors associated with mammographically invisible tumours and found that they tended to be large, aggressive tumours of a common variety. These findings are contrary to the commonly-held belief that such tumours go undetected because they are small and of an unusual variety. The average age of the patients identified as suitable for the study was 48, suggesting that younger women are more likely to have false-negative scans, perhaps because of the higher density of their breast tissue. The UK’s national breast screening programme applies to women from the age of 50.

Mr Lennard commented: ‘Our research demonstrates that statistically, having a mastectomy does not improve the chances of surviving breast cancer after a false-negative scan. We have reviewed the advice we give to patients as a result of these findings and I would have thought it sensible for specialists elsewhere to consider doing the same. ‘The Newcastle women were all given the choice of mastectomy or breast conserving surgery. Those studied who chose the latter seem not to have been disadvantaged by this.’


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. "Breast Cancer Research May Lead To Fewer Mastectomies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011219062240.htm>.
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. (2001, December 19). Breast Cancer Research May Lead To Fewer Mastectomies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011219062240.htm
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne. "Breast Cancer Research May Lead To Fewer Mastectomies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/12/011219062240.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins