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When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000, the treatments had not been as fine-tuned as they are today.  And that makes sense, we are learning more and more every year.  Chemotherapy was one-size-fits all and mastectomies were done routinely on EVERYBODY.  

Increasingly, women are choosing mastectomy over lumpectomy to treat early breast cancer.  But data on 112,000 patients age 50 and up shows that for Stage I and Stage II hormone-positive cancers, survival is actually 19% higher after lumpectomy plus radiation than after breast removal.  Another study found when women with cancer in one breast preventively remove both, the rate of complications (like infection) doubles.

Naturally, you must talk your treatment options over with your oncologist, who knows your case better than anyone.  I had a triple negative (aggressive and non-hormonally driven) cancer, but I was, and continue to be, ever grateful for my doctors' incredible patience and willingness to spend time discussing my specific kind of cancer and what were my best options for survival.  Thirteen years later, I am still here!  Blessings to you all.

 


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