The last thing a woman who has been newly diagnosed with breast cancer wants to think about is having to rush into surgery. There are so many reasons she may want to take a few weeks to decide what to do -- such as digest the news, get a second opinion, or get other medical conditions under control to be sure she's healthy enough for surgery.
In the past, the worry had been that taking a few weeks might raise the odds that a breast tumor would progress. But now, a new study has found that it could be alright to wait a bit while before heading under the knife.
Specifically, researchers found that in 818 women, there was no evidence that a "modest" delay before surgery gave breast tumors time to grow and spread.
However, experts say that in most cases, rapid treatment is preferable, and it is important to note that this research is not conclusive and does not apply to all breast cancer patients. For instance, all the women in this study were having surgery for cancer that was confined to the breast and had not yet spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Since every case of breast cancer is different, a woman should obviously consult with her doctor(s) about her individual situation. But it's good to know that she might now be less pressured to make a rushed decision about something as serious as surgery. It would truly be a gift for her to be able to better consider what's right for her in her own time.
What do you think about this finding?
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