Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lymph node surgery for breast cancer has no benefit

November 7, 2014 by 

lymph nodes(Health Secrets) A recent study with lasting affect on the guardians of the status quo in breast cancer care and treatment has found that lymph node surgery for women provides no benefit. In women who had early breast cancer which had spread to their lymph nodes, removing them does not improve their survival rate or prevent the further spreading of cancer. Unfortunately, this painful and lucrative procedure of removing lymph nodes has long been routine for breast cancer patients.
Surgeons have been removing lymph nodes from under the arms of breast cancer patients for 100 years, with the idea that it would prolong women’s lives by keeping their cancers from spreading or coming back.
The study, known as The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0011 Trial, was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It was conducted at 115 medical centers and included 891 women with median age in the mid-50s. The median time participants were followed was 6.3 years.
After an initial node biopsy, women were randomly assigned to have 10 or more additional nodes removed or to leave the nodes alone. Over time, the two groups had no difference in survival or recurrence.
According to study authors Dr. Grant Walter Carlson and Dr. William C. Wood, the study “definitively showed that auxiliary lymph node dissection is not beneficial.” They noted that survival was independent of lymph node status.
“Taken together, findings from these [and other] investigators provide strong evidence that patients undergoing partial mastectomy, whole-breast irradiation, and systemic therapy for early breast cancer with microscopic sentinel lymph node metastasis can be treated effectively and safely without auxiliary node dissection,” they said.
Another study author, Dr. Monica Morrow, chief of the breast