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Breast cancer and lumpectomy surgery

Women who have lumpectomy surgery may not need as much radiation therapy as previously thought.
(ABC) -- Women who have lumpectomy surgery may not need as much radiation therapy as previously thought.

A lumpectomy is breast cancer surgery in which only a tumor and surrounding tissue are removed, preserving the rest of the breast.

Radiation treatments are then used to prevent the cancer’s recurring in the tissue left behind.

The standard therapy has been five weeks of daily treatment.

Now, a study presented to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium says shorter-term treatment may be just as good.

Scientists followed almost 4,500 women for 10 years. Those who received three weeks of radiation in slightly larger doses had the same rate of cancer relapse in the breast as those who had the five week course.

The shorter treatment can save time and money for patients and for healthcare providers.

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