Concerns raised over minimally invasive breast cancer surgery

February 20th, 2009 - 2:49 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 20 (ANI): Minimally invasive breast surgery may be more concerned with better cosmetic outcomes than cure rates, an expert has warned.

Monica Morrow, chief of the breast service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, has warned that effectiveness and safety, as well as aesthetic outcomes, need to be considered when planning surgery for breast cancer.

She claims that over the past 30 years surgery has increasingly become devoted to improving cosmetic outcomes.

Today techniques such as oncoplastic and endoscopic surgery, which involved minimal skin incision, are possible.

However, a review of the evidence reveals that the oncological safety of these new procedures is often not being evaluated thoroughly, the author said.

Morrow raises concern that a failure to demand rigorous evaluation of oncological outcomes as well as cosmetic ones runs the risk of losing some of the gains in survival seen in the past decade.

“We must ensure that surgical approaches designed to improve cosmetic
outcomes do not increase local failure and the risk of subsequent death
from breast cancer,” she said.

She also points out that the developing fields of oncoplastic surgery and minimally invasive breast surgery require rigorous assessment of patient reported outcomes to ensure that new procedures actually improve outcomes that are important to patients.

“The local treatment of breast cancer is based on the results of numerous high quality clinical trials and is therefore a model for evidence based care. As we attempt to advance from good to great cosmetic outcomes it is important that we remember this,” she said.

The article is published on the online British Medical Journal. (ANI)

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