Less Radical Surgery Effective For Breast Cancer Patients

February 9, 2011 Updated Feb 9, 2011 at 12:59 AM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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February 9, 2011 Updated Feb 9, 2011 at 12:59 AM EDT


(WKBW/ABC News) A new study shows less is more when it comes to surgery for breast cancer patients.

When breast cancer spreads to the adjacent lymph nodes, doctors generally remove them using one of two different surgical procedures.

One procedure is to remove only the cancer-affected lymph nodes. The second is more aggressive, involving the removal of many lymph nodes.

But those who have the radical surgery often suffer severe side effects, such as shoulder pain, weakness or painful swelling of the arm known as lymphedema.

And now a study finds that after five years, there was virtually no
difference in the survival rate of the two groups.

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