Mastectomy when metastatic?

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Question from Fiona: Is mastectomy done even when the cancer has spread to, say, the bones?
Answers - Gabriel N. Hortobagyi, M.D., F.A.C.P. In general terms, the standard of care today is that when metastases are present at the time of diagnosis of the primary, then no definitive surgery is performed on the primary unless there is a need to control a bleeding, ulcerated breast for quality-of-life purposes. In recent years, the question has been raised whether removing the breast in the presence of metastasis might favorably affect survival. There is interest in addressing that through additional research and there is at least one ongoing clinical trial outside the United States looking at that, but it is not considered a standard procedure nor is there definitive evidence that it helps. There are no trials currently in the U.S. But there has been some skepticism in the medical community, so there is no trial ongoing or planned for this issue.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Inflammatory Breast Cancer featured Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., Thomas Buchholz, M.D., and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answering your questions about inflammatory breast cancer, a rare but aggressive form of breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in October 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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