October 3, 2008
Second Lumpectomy Has Worse Outcome
Women whose breast cancer recurs are often treated with a second lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy, defying recommendations, U.S. researchers said.
Lead author Steven Chen of the University of California, Davis, and co-author Steve Martinez, also a University of California, Davis, surgical oncologist, used data from a national cancer database for their study that involved 747 patients who previously received lumpectomy -- tumor removed -- and were diagnosed with cancer a second time in the same breast.
"We were surprised to find that so many women in our study -- almost one-quarter -- had received another lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy," Chen said in a statement. "It's likely that patients are asking for lumpectomies when their cancer is diagnosed a second time, and doctors are simply complying with that request. Whatever the reason, that decision can shorten life spans."