Overtreating breast cancer? - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Overtreating breast cancer?

Some breast cancer patients may be over-treating their disease, according to a new study.

Women with large breast tumors are often advised to have a mastectomy followed by radiation-- some oncologists choose to radiate surrounding lymph nodes even if they don't show signs of disease with the hopes of preventing a recurrence.

Now experts say that extra radiation isn't necessary.

A study of 64 patients who had lymph nodes that didn't show signs of disease found extremely low rates of recurrence among women who didn't have extra radiation.

Experts say the risks linked to extra radiation won't outweigh the benefit for most patients.

Survival rates were 91% for women who didn't have extra radiation, and was 100% after 5 years for the extra radiation group.


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