This treatment could be a game changer in the breast cancer industry. This is a conservation treatment, if you will.
An article in the NLTimes.nl has a cool piece about iodine seeing for breast cancer tumors and how it has greatly reduced the number of re-operations and mastectomies. One of the big reasons this is a great treatment option is that cancers, with particular emphasis on DCIS, start from iodine deficiency. Anything to cut down on the amount of unneeded mastectomies is a great treatment and deserves further exploration with clinical trials and research.
The introduction of the iodine seed – a tumor detection technique – greatly improved breast cancer treatment for women and dramatically reduced the number of re-operations and mastectomies, according to the Catharina hospital in Eindhoven.
The iodine seed is a small seed that is placed in the tumor before a breast surgery under local anesthesia. It emits a low dose of radiation, with the aid of a gamma radiation detector, shows the exact location of the tumor. During the surgery, it enables the surgeon to quickly pinpoint location of the tumor, allowing for a more precise surgery.
“In situations where a mastectomy was chosen in the past, such as with multiple tumors in the breast, breast-conserving surgery can now be performed more frequently through this localization technique with iodine seeds”, Yvonne van Riet, surgeon at the Catharina Hospital, explained in the hospital’s press release.
The Catharina Hospital was the first hospital to implement the use of iodine seeds in 2003. Over the past 12.5 years, the hospital treated more than 1,500 in this way and saw the number of re-operations and breast removals “plummet” in this time.
Masectomies are showing a scary trend these days, check out the stats straight from BreastCancer.org.
The study was published online on Nov. 19, 2014 by JAMA Surgery. Read “Nationwide Trends in Mastectomy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer.”
The researchers looked at the medical records of more than 1.2 million women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in one breast and treated at centers across the United States from 1998 to 2011. The records are part of the National Cancer Data Base, a nationwide database created by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
The researchers found that:
- 35.5% of the women had mastectomy
- 64.5% of the women had lumpectomy
Among the women who had mastectomy:
- 45.0% had total mastectomy (the entire breast is removed, but no muscle beneath the breast is removed and lymph nodes usually aren’t removed)
- 34.7% had modified radical mastectomy (the entire breast and underarm lymph nodes are removed, but no muscle beneath the breast is removed)
- 19.5% had double mastectomy
- 0.8% had radical mastectomy (the entire breast, underarm lymph nodes, and chest wall muscles are removed)