ST. LOUIS, May 24 (UPI) — Estrogen-lowering drugs improve surgical outcomes in breast cancer patients, U.S. researchers said.
Researchers, led by Dr. Matthew Ellis at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found giving estrogen-lowering drugs for 16 weeks improved the surgical outcome in women whose cancer had spread to the lymph nodes and for whom breast conservation surgery — a lumpectomy — had been deemed impossible or marginal, requiring several surgical procedures.
Eighty-two percent of women in the marginal group, 51 percent in the group facing mastectomy only and 75 percent in the group thought inoperable had successful breast conservation surgery — vs. a mastectomy or no surgery.
“These results will encourage a change in practice across the country so that more women can benefit from the currently underutilized approach of administering estrogen-lowering agents before surgery,” Ellis said in a statement.
Ellis and colleagues at 118 U.S. hospitals treated 352 post-menopausal women with stage II or stage III cancer with estrogen-receptor positive breast tumors — cancers stimulated by estrogen.
The findings are scheduled to be presented in Chicago at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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