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Lymph Node Removal Unnecessary

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Women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer have traditionally had their lymph nodes biopsied for signs of cancer. If microscopic tumors have spread to lymph nodes near the breast, oncologists had assumed that this meant the disease had spread and that the lymph nodes should be surgically removed to improve patients' chances of survival.

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association challenges this assumption. Over 5,000 women with early stage breast cancer were included in the study. Lymph nodes were carefully scrutinized for abnormal cells. The investigators found that invisible cancer cells and lymph node removal did not affect the women's survival. Because lymph node surgery can lead to serious complications, oncologists are beginning to rethink this routine approach to treating breast cancer.

[JAMA, July 27, 2011]

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4 Comments

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I recently read The Emperor of All Maladies, by Sidhartha Mukherjee. Recommend that book for his explanation of how breast cancer spreads, and why excising lymph nodes makes no difference in outcome.

TOO LATE FOR ME, MY LEFT SENTINEL NODE WAS REMOVED 2009, with lumpectomy for ductal in situ breast cancer, non-H2R

MS. Deann
I was very sorry to hear that this information came to late for you. It was also to late for my sister. She had 29 lymph nodes removed and none of them were cancerous. However she did have the same kind of breast cancer and she is doing fine. It has been 3 years. I haven"t mentioned this article to her, maybe some things are better left unsaid.

Of course, but if not to treat a breast cancer the tumor will increase, and through lymphatic vessels will leave to lymph nodes.

The malignant tumor can develop from the cages covering dairy channels, and also from connecting fabrics. Only the doctor who surveying the woman and has deeply studied her the medical histories, can judge about a specific features of the breast cancer at the given woman.

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