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Removing More from Breast May Reduce 2nd Surgeries

Removing a little more tissue during a lumpectomy for breast cancer might help prevent second surgeries, a small study suggests. The study included 235 women. All of them had a lumpectomy. This procedure aims to preserve as much of the breast as possible while removing all of the cancer. About one-third of each group had some cancer cells at or near the edges of the tissue removed. This is known as a positive margin. Then, while they were still in the operating room, the women were randomly divided into 2 groups. One group had a slightly wider margin of tissue removed. Only 19% had cancer cells at or near the edges of the extra tissue. About 10% of the group that had extra tissue removed later had a second surgery to remove more tissue. This compares with about 21% of the standard-lumpectomy group. Both groups had similar rates of problems after surgery.

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