-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with breast cancer
that has spread to the lungs may live longer if they have surgery
to remove the lung tumors, a new study from Germany suggests.
The average survival of breast cancer patients whose cancer has
spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body and who undergo
conventional chemotherapy regimens ranges from 12 months to 24
It had been believed that surgery would not benefit these
However, this study of 81 patients found that average survival
increased to as much as 103 months among patients who had surgery
that removed all the cancer from their lungs. Survival ranged from
20 to 23 months for patients who still had cancer present in their
lungs after surgery, according to the study in the April issue of
The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
"Too often patients with metastatic breast cancer are not considered for surgical treatment, as it is assumed that these patients would not benefit from surgical interventions for various reasons," Dr. Georgios Meimarakis, of the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, said in a journal news release.
Based on their findings, Meimarakis and his colleagues "highly
recommend" that doctors consider surgery for breast cancer patients
whose cancer has spread to the lungs.
These results show that this type of surgery needs to be
considered more often as part of a multi-pronged approach to
treatment of these patients, Dr. Hans Hoffmann, of the University
of Heidelberg, in Germany, said in an accompanying editorial.
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
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