Battling Breast Cancer

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Story Updated: Jan 29, 2013

Women diagnosed with breast cancer are often given a variety of treatment options...but more and more women are opting to get mastectomies, the most aggressive surgery...even for small cases.

Now, brand new research suggests a less invasive approach may offer better survival rates.

Researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute evaluated data from more than112-thousand breast cancer cases between 1990 and 2004... They looked at the age of the patient, the type of breast cancer and whether mastectomy or lumpectomy with radiation was chosen. All had early Stage 1 or Stage 2 cancer.

The results of the study- women were more likely to survive breast cancer if they had the less invasive lumpectomy plus radiation...versus mastectomy and this was the case across all ages.

Women over 50 with hormone-sensitive breast cancer saw even greater benefits with a 14-percent decreased risk of dying from breast cancer after opting for the lumpectomy-radiation combo versus mastectomy.

Researchers say they hope this new study will reassure women that lumpectomy remains an excellent choice with small, early breast cancers.

As always, your doctor is the best guide for your treatment options.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news for healthier living.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com