"Our findings support the notion that less invasive treatment can provide superior survival to mastectomy in stage I or stage II breast cancer," said E. Shelley Hwang, M.D., MPH, chief of breast surgery at Duke Cancer Institute and the study's lead author.
"Given the recent interest in mastectomy to treat early stage breast cancers, despite the research supporting lumpectomy, our study sought to further explore outcomes of breast-conserving treatments in the general population comparing outcomes between younger and older women," Hwang
colleagues were surprised to also find that early stage breast cancer patients treated with mastectomy had a significantly lower survival rate from breast cancer than women who underwent lumpectomy with radiation.
"We found that lumpectomy plus radiation was an effective alternative to mastectomy for early stage disease, regardless of age or tumor type," said Hwang
"Even patients we thought might benefit less from localized treatment, like younger patients with hormone-resistant disease, can remain confident in lumpectomy as an equivalent and possibly better treatment option."
In addition to Hwang, study authors include Daphne Y. Lichtensztajn, Scarlett Lin Gomez, and Christina A. Clarke of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California.