Shaving an extra millimeter or two of surrounding tissue when removing a breast tumor can reduce the need for follow-up surgery by half, according to a team of Yale researchers who also found the more aggressive tissue removal to not have an impact on the way patients regard the cosmetic outcome of the surgery.
Researchers do not expect the technique, which is known as the cavity shave margin technique, to increase longevity of breast cancer patients, but it has been shown to effectively reduce the odds of undergoing follow-up treatments.
While it’s not expected to increase the rate of survival, the study’s chief author, Dr. Anees Chagpar of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven was quoted by Reuters Health as having said over the telephone that it “does make a difference in terms of patient angst and emotional impact of returning to the operating room” when surgeons catch all of the cancer cells in the first bout, during the initial surgery.
Dr. Chagpar, who previously believed the shaving technique to be unnecessary, now believes in the technique, as she stated that it’s “really hard to ignore Level 1 evidence which shows that you can cut the reoperation rate in half without changing the cosmetic outcome or increasing complications.” This, she refers to as a “no-brainer.”
Now that we have data from a Level 1 randomized controlled trial, many surgeons are changing their practice (…) It’s really hard to ignore Level 1 evidence that shows you can cut the reoperation rate in half without changing the cosmetic outcome or increasing complications. That’s kind of a no-brainer.
The findings of the randomized, controlled trial of the cavity shave margins technique were published in The New England Journal of Medicine on May 30, 2015. The study’s findings were also presented at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology’s meeting in Chicago.
An unrelated study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle found that women with dense breast tissue are not necessarily at high risk for breast cancer as previously thought.
In yet another unrelated study, which was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, scientists found a link between breastfeeding and leukemia which suggests breastfeeding children lowers their risk of leukemia.
In other cancer coverage here at Immortal News, immunotherapy drugs which bolster the body’s own immune system have shown promise in cancer treatment, as a combination of two immunotherapies have exhibited the impressive ability to shrink tumors and stop the advance of the deadly skin cancer that is melanoma.