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Mastectomy doesn't have to be your first choice

Spectrum Health Breast Conserving Therapy study getting national attention for setting new standards for breast cancer patients

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer many believe a mastectomy is the best option for a better chance at survival. 

But a new study conducted by Spectrum Health is getting national attention for it's findings that suggest otherwise.

Dr. Paul Wright, a Surgical Oncologist with Spectrum Health is the senior author on the study that focuses on breast conserving therapy suggesting less is more. 

"We've had some signals in recent years that a lumpectomy with radiation may be more beneficial and that's what we found with this study," said Dr. Wright. "Women with stage one and two breast cancer had improved survival of five years with undergoing breast conserving surgery with radiation as compared to mastectomy." 

Dr. Wright says it's possible conserving therapy could become the new standard of treatment for women who have early stage breast cancer. And hopes more women will consider talking with their surgical oncologist about their options. 

"Know that less is more and sometimes I think this is a perfect example of that with something that's a short recovery," said Dr. Wright. "Outpatient surgery you can have the same if not better outcomes than a bigger procedure like a mastectomy."


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