Re-operation necessary for one-fifth of all breast conserving surgeries: Study

on Monday, 16 July 2012. Posted in Women's Health, News Written By: HealthTzars News Group

Re-operation necessary for one-fifth of all breast conserving surgeries: Study

A recent study has revealed that almost one-fifth of all breast conserving surgeries require re-operation. These findings could be useful in assisting female breast cancer patients to decide on whether they would want to undergo mastectomy-complete breast removal or breast conserving surgery-removal of breast in part.


The study found that from amongst 45,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in England in 2008, 58 percent opted for breast conserving surgery in place of mastectomy.

The survival rates post-mastectomy or by undergoing a treatment using a combination of breast conserving surgery with radiotherapy were almost similar. Most breast conserving surgeries are unsuccessful in removing the tumors completely. Hence, in most cases, re-operation using mastectomy or another breast conserving surgery may be required.

The study team led by Dr. David Cromwell, Senior Lecturer in Health Services Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine collected data from Hospital Episode Statistics-HES on 55,297 women detected with breast cancer who chose to undergo breast conserving procedure at the National Health Service from 2005 to 2008.

The team concentrated on determining re-operation rates within three months of undergoing the first breast conserving surgery. They factored other variables like patient's age, socio-economic status, tumor-type and morbidity in their study. The findings showed that 82 percent women who had isolated invasive cancer required re-operation within a period of three months.

Out of 12 percent women who had carcinoma-in-situ, 29.5 percent required re-operation within three months. In all, almost 40 percent women who had to undergo re-operation opted for mastectomy. While requirement of re-operation was lower in women with co-morbid diseases, older patients and women from weaker economic strata had slightly lower rates of re-operation.

Professor Jerome Pereira, Consultant Breast Cancer Surgeon at James Paget University Hospitals and a contributing author said that the study showed clearly that one in three women with pre-cancerous changes either in isolation or with invasive breast cancer have had to undergo re-operation after a breast conserving surgery.

She added that clinicians could now inform their patients of these findings and help them in taking decisions about the type of breast surgery to opt for.

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