If you need to have surgery to remove an invasive breast cancer tumor, you may want your surgeon to save as much of your breast as he or she can. But depending on the type of cancer you have, this may not be a good idea. In fact, a new study suggests narrow margins could be a huge mistake.
This new study from Britain found that leaving too much tissue significantly affects your risk of recurrence. It could be the difference between getting all the cancer cells and leaving some behind. Any cancer cells left behind may divide and develop another tumor.
Some surgeons want the area surrounding a tumor (called the free margin) to be 1 mm. Others want a margin of 2 mm or more. But this study, published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, found that the most ideal margins depend on whether the cancer is invasive or not.
First, the researchers looked at patients who had small margins (1 mm). In this group, those with non-invasive tumors had significantly more recurrences than women with invasive breast cancer.
Then they looked at those with more radical surgery (2 mm). What they found was astounding. The amount of cancer cells remaining behind decreased from 35.3% to a tiny 2.4% as margins increased. This is good news for any woman with invasive breast cancer. It means that the right type of surgery can reduce your risk for a recurrence dramatically.
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This is not the case with non-invasive cancers. Many of these women still had cancer cells present after their surgeries. The incidence of residual disease increased to 57% when their margins were between 0.1 and 0.9 mm. But wider margins didn’t reduce the presence of cancer cells.
Based on this research, you may want to talk with your surgeon before any surgery. Ask him to make sure your margins are at least 2 mm if you have invasive breast cancer. This isn’t as crucial if you have DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), as it won’t necessarily reduce residual cancer cells.
But talking to your surgeon isn’t all you need to do. There’s something else that can reduce your risk of recurrence. It’s a product made from modified citrus pectin of a particular molecular size and weight. Published studies have shown that it stops cancer cells from multiplying. This results in cancer-cell death. You can buy the product, PectaSol-C, from EcoNugenics by calling 800-308-5518.
A recent study on another of their formulas, BreastDefend, an herbal/mushroom/nutrient combination, reduces inflammation and destroys cancer cells. You can’t beat the combination whether you have surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Ward, S.T., B.G. Jones, and A.J. Jewkes. International Journal of Clinical Practice. Volume 64, Issue 12, pages 1675-1680, November 2010.