In the News – Lymph Node Surgery
Last week, the New York Times reported a new study that found women may not need to undergo surgery to remove lymph nodes. It has long been a standard to remove lymph nodes from the underarms of women with breast cancer in order to prevent spreading or returning.
This new research represents a major shift in strategy for breast cancer treatment options. The study found that about 20 percent of patients (40,000 women in the United States each year), who met certain criteria, showed no advantage in removal of cancerous or potentially cancerous nodes. For many women, this surgery is a painful option. Learning that it may no longer be necessary for some patients can provide new hope, not just for them but for the men and women who have someone in their lives that has been diagnosed.
While this research reported on findings in women with specific conditions, there are still a lot of unknowns and the current research does not apply to all patients. It’s important for women to consult with their physician and find out whether the new surgical options apply to them.
While it may take some time for this new study to completely change current medical practice, it demonstrates how important it is to support and fund ongoing research. The Pink Agenda is committed to raising money and awareness for research to continue taking steps closer to a cure. Our efforts have supported the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Greater New York City affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s program for Young Women with breast cancer. With your support, one day we’ll reach our goal to eradicate breast cancer.