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“Breast Cancer Treatments Gets More Confusing”

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be more than 1.65 million new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2013.  The good news is that for many cancers, the prognosis will be very good and 90% of breast cancer patients will survive their cancers for at least 5 years.  Treatment usually consists of combinations of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal treatments (neoadjuvant therapies).  Many factors, such as cell type, location, spread, aggressiveness, nutritional status of the patient, patient age, family history, etc, will have a bearing on the specifics of treatment.  During my surgical training, radical mastectomies were common but have basically been abandoned.  Next on the scene was “lumpectomy with irradiation.”

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