Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
America's Worst Enemy?
What is the leading cause of death in the United States?
Cancer
Auto Accidents
Heart Disease
Perscription Meds

 
 
 What Doctors Don't Tell You: BREAST CANCER-THE UNKINDEST CUT 
 
What Doctors Don't Tell You © (Volume 3, Issue 11)
Most breast cancer surgeons engage in surgical overkill, and many safety questions surround the new wonder drugs.

Last month, we concentrated on the dangers and inaccuracies of the various screening facilities to detect breast cancer. With this issue, we offer evidence that most doctors still overtreat early breast cancer, cutting out more than they need to or overloading the patient with drugs or radiation.Despite a variety of surgical techniques, a host of back up therapies and many confident headlines about breast cancer breakthroughs, the astonishing truth is that surgical treatment of breast cancer hasn't advanced one single step in the past century. Edward F Scanlon, MD of the Northwestern University Medical School summarizes the prevailing view: "...over a period of 100 years, breast cancer treatment has evolved from no treatment to radical treatment and back again to more conservative management, without having affected mortality." (The Journal of the American Medical Association, 4 September 1991.)

The standard procedure for breast cancer this century has been the radical mastectomy, a mutilating operation which involves removing the breast, much of the skin, the chest wall and the lymph nodes, developed by Dr William Halsted a hundred years ago.

Shortly after the Second World War, a study at three hospitals in Illinois showed little difference in five and 10 year survival rates between radical mastectomies, simple mastectomies, or simple removal of tumour. In 1969, The Lancet (29 November) reviewed 8,000 cases and again found no difference in survival between any of the procedures. Nevertheless, the Halsted procedure maintained its grip on the average surgical mind well into the 1970s and 1980s, when in some areas it was replaced by a modified radical, which removed tissue and breast, but left the chest wall, or a simple mastectomy, which only removed the breast itself.

Like the earlier studies, numerous trials in the Eighties have shown that mastectomy provides no benefit in terms of cancer recurrence or survival over breast conserving surgery (BCS) such as simple lumpectomy (removal of the tumour itself) or quadrantectomy (removal of a portion of the breast). In one, by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project in Pennsylvania of nearly 2000 women over nine years, there was no significant difference in survival without the cancer spreading to other parts of the body between those who had undergone lumpectomy, lumpectomy plus irradiation or total mastectomy.

As a result of these comparative studies, the American National Institutes of Health in 1990 recommended that surgeons opt for breast conservation surgery over mastectomy for the majority of women with stage I or stage II breast cancer. By this they mean cancer less than 4 cm in diameter limited to the primary site (ie, single breast) without involvement of the chest muscle or overlying skin. In the past, doctors felt that cancer found in the axillary lymph nodes was evidence of metastasis (spread), and grounds for radical mastectomy. With the NIH's announcement, the involvement of the lymph nodes (so long as it is on the same side as the tumour) is now considered immaterial.

Regardless of the NIH's decision, most doctors don't offer BCS to the majority of women with early breast cancer. A Seattle study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (25 December, 1991) examined cancer registry information between 1983 and 1989. In total, less than a third of women with stage I or II disease were offered BCS, even though three quarters of all women diagnosed with breast cancer fall into the early stage category. Furthermore, that proportion declined after 1985.

CONTINUED    1  2  3  4  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
What Doctors Don't Tell You What Doctors Don’t Tell You is one of the few publications in the world that can justifiably claim to solve people's health problems - and even save lives. Our monthly newsletter gives you the facts you won't......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Breathing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar