A study published in the JAMA Oncology Journal last week suggests radiation and mastectomy treatments for women with early stage breast cancer may not be necessary.
However, an oncologist with the BC Cancer Agency says that study may actually not be accurate.
Karen Gelmon says the study looked at Stage O breast cancer and found that mastectomies and radiation might actually not prolong the life of patients.
However, Gelmon says contrary to what the study says, no matter how severe cancer in the breast is, the area with cancer in it must always be removed.
“With small stage zero breast cancer you don’t always have to have a mastectomy that’s a really important message, and what it’s suggesting is that you might not need radiation, but it doesn’t say you don’t need that area removed, that area still needs to be looked at.”
“Most of the treatments have been surgical, so the cancer is removed, but some women go on from just having a lumpectomy or the surgical area removed to having a mastectomy and most women have been offered radiation.”
Gelmon says there are many studies already underway looking at whether or not aggressive treatments are necessary and if alternatives for treatment can be found.