Study Shows Lymph Node Removal Not Necessary for All Breast Cancer Patients

By Sara Lee Kessler

For decades surgeons have routinely removed lymph nodes from under the arms of breast cancer patients, believing such surgery could reduce the risk that cancer would spread or return.  Now, a federally-funded study of 900 women with early breast cancer and just one or two positive lymph nodes that are too small to be felt, shows lymph node surgery has no effect on five-year survival rates in women with early disease.

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