Partial breast cancer op warning
Re-operation was more likely among women with pre-cancerous disease compared to those with isolated invasive disease. Around 40% of women who had a re-operation underwent a mastectomy. Re-operation rates also varied between NHS trusts - in some trusts re-operation rates were below 10% while in others they were above 30% - but the authors stress that further research is required to understand its cause.
Dr Emma Pennery, clinical director at Breast Cancer Care, said: "Surgery is the first treatment for most people with breast cancer and some people will be offered the choice between a mastectomy and breast conserving surgery. It's really important that women are aware of all the potential benefits and drawbacks when they make this decision so their choice is informed.
Macmillan Cancer Support head of evidence Dr Siobhan McClelland said: "Nobody wants to go through the emotional strain of unnecessary surgery or mastectomies. This is why breast conserving surgery has become more popular.
"But it is essential that oncologists ensure that breast cancer patients are made aware of all of their treatment options and their possible results before any decision is made. However, this should not undermine what the surgeons are doing - it also shows that 80% of breast conserving surgery is successful."
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