New studies on breast cancer screening, treatment and survival

New studies on breast cancer screening, treatment, and survival were released today in advance of the 2011 Breast Cancer Symposium. The symposium is being held September 8-10, 2011, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco.

Four major studies were highlighted in today's presscast:
- Two Studies Report Similar Recurrence, Survival Rates for Breast Conservation and Mastectomy among Younger Women with Breast Cancer: A pair of studies indicates comparable outcomes - in local recurrence and survival rates - for lumpectomy (breast conservation surgery) or mastectomy (entire breast removal) among women with breast cancer age 40 and younger.

a) Study Finds Recurrence Rates are Similar in Younger Women Who Have Either Breast Conservation Surgery or Mastectomy: A retrospective study of medical records of more than 600 women aged 40 and younger who were diagnosed with up to stage III breast cancer, analyzed according to the type of surgery (lumpectomy versus mastectomy) the women had, found no statistically significant difference in local cancer recurrence risk.

b) Large Analysis Shows Breast Conservation and Mastectomy Result in Similar Survival Among Younger Women With Early Stage Breast Cancer: Using the National Cancer Institute's SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) database, investigators compared overall survival and breast cancer-specific survival among nearly 15,000 women age 40 and younger, finding no significant differences between the two groups.

- New Statistical Tool May Predict Risk of Common Debilitating Side Effect - Lymphedema - Associated with Breast Cancer Surgery: Researchers have created a set of statistical models that are more than 70 percent accurate for predicting the five-year risk of developing lymphedema (debilitating swelling) after lymph node removal during breast cancer surgery.

- Large Michigan Study Suggests Continued Importance of Self-Exams, Annual Mammography in Breast Cancer Detection, Even in Younger Women: An analysis of breast cancer diagnosis data from nearly 6,000 women in Michigan suggests that mammography and self-breast exams remain important tools for detecting breast cancer, even among women aged 40 to 49 for whom routine mammography has been questioned by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

"Improvements in detection, as well as insights into surgical treatment options and their outcomes, have increasingly led to longer, improved lives for women with breast cancer," said Andrew Seidman, MD, American Society of Clinical Oncology Cancer Communications Committee member. "The studies presented today reflect the impact of these advances in treatment approaches on patient outcomes and treatment decision-making."

In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur in women in the United States, and another 2,140 cases are expected in U.S. men. An additional 57,650 cases of in situ (non-invasive) breast cancer are expected to occur in U.S. women as well, totaling more than 290,000 new cases. This year's Breast Cancer Symposium will include more than 300 abstracts and focus on a range of breast cancer topics that range from prevention and screening to treatment and survivor care.

Source:

Cancer Facts & Figures 2011. Atlanta, GA; American Cancer Society: 2011.

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