breast cancerThis might be the most important thing you read all day. While many of us believe that a mastectomy is a more effective long-term treatment for breast cancer than a lumpectomy, the latest study shows the opposite is actually true: Researchers from Duke Cancer Institute found that women with stage one or two breast cancer who had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy instead of a mastectomy were 13% more likely to survive the disease (women over age 50 were 19% more likely to survive). Whoa.

Of course it seems like medical research is always finding new, often contradictory information on the best way to treat and avoid diseases, so I tend to take whatever "the latest study shows" with a grain of salt. But in this case, the "latest study" followed over 100,000 women for a span of 10 years.

"Our findings support the notion that less invasive treatment can provide superior survival to mastectomy in stage one or stage two breast cancer. Given the recent interest in mastectomy to treat early stage breast cancers, despite the research supporting lumpectomy, our study sought to further explore outcomes of breast-conserving treatments in the general population comparing outcomes between younger and older women," says lead researcher, Dr E. Shelley Hwang.

That's a significant amount of research! And significantly positive findings (although I'm not sure how I would feel about these results if I were a breast cancer survivor who'd already had a mastectomy).

What's your reaction to these findings?

 

Image via Tips Time/Flickr