Drugs Before Surgery Help Women Avoid Mastectomies - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Drugs Before Surgery Help Women Avoid Mastectomies

HEALTH ALERT: A new study suggests that taking hormone-blocking pills before breast cancer surgery can shrink tumors and allow many women to have just the lump removed instead of the whole breast.

This approach is sometimes tried now in Europe, and the study was the first large test of it in the United States. It won't change practice right away. But the new approach could eventually
affect the care of tens of thousands of women each year with large tumors whose growth is fueled by estrogen.

Besides less drastic surgery, the approach may also let many of them skip chemotherapy.

The results were released Wednesday and will be presented at a medical meeting on Saturday.
      

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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