WTEN: Breast Cancer Study – Women May be Happier Long-Term with Conservative Surgery

Drs. Sarah Pesek and Gabriel Kaufman, both of St. Peter’s Breast Surgery, were interviewed by WTEN/News10 for an article focusing on a recent study from the National Cancer Institute that examined quality of life in women who have undergone surgery for early stage breast cancer.

From the article:

“Young women with early-stage breast cancer need to plan for their life after cancer. We have known for a while that lumpectomy is just as good as mastectomy for treating the cancer,” said Dr. Sarah Pesek, a breast surgical oncology specialist with St. Peter’s Breast Surgery.

“This study tells us that lumpectomy may be even better than mastectomy for long-term quality of life. Doing everything they can – meaning bilateral mastectomy – may be too much treatment, especially when the woman does not have a genetic predisposition,” Dr. Pesek said.

Because women who participated in the study had gotten treatment through a university hospital, Dr. Gabriel Kaufman, who specializes in breast cancer surgery at St. Peter’s Health Partners, said the study may not capture the whole picture – but he agrees that women can benefit from conservative breast surgery.

There is a sharp divide between his patients under or over 40, according to Dr. Kaufman. He said patients under 40 overwhelmingly chose conservative surgery, while his patients over 40 are more likely to choose a mastectomy.

Survival rates for patients who get conservative surgery versus a mastectomy are the same. However, there is a slightly higher chance of reoccurrence in women who opted for conservative surgery. What matters to him, Dr. Kaufman said, is that his patients make educated decisions.

Click here to read the full article.

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