About half of the 300,000 women in the United States who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year undergo extensive surgery in order to remove the tumor.
The Yale Cancer Study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Between 20 and 40% of those women wake up from the anesthetic and still have cancer cells present, which means they are in need of an inevitable second surgery or the risk of cancer spreading to other areas in the body.
Research indicates that removing additional tissue around the tumor during the first surgery on all patients would reduce the risk of requiring a second surgery for about 100,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer.
The randomized controlled trial has the potential to have a huge impact for breast cancer patients.
Researchers randomly selected 235 women with breast cancer. The cancer in the participants varied from stage zero to stage three. The study showed that the number of women who would have needed an additional surgery was reduced by half.
This procedure removed additional tissue without causing any changes in physical appearance of additional medical complications.
A separate study found that women could benefit from a different drug than the one typically prescribed after surgery for breast cancer.
Both drugs limit production of estrogen, which can cause breast cancer cells with hormone-positive receptors to reproduce. Women who took anastrazole for five years after the medical procedure had a higher rate of survival than those who took tamoxifen.
Both drugs are very effective but it seems that women have better chances of staying well with anastrazol.
This second study was reported by Agence France-Presse.
Women should consider differences in side effects when discussing treatment options with their doctors.