For at least a century now, the women who have had their doctors detect early breast cancer in them have gone under the knife for a painful kind of surgery that was always thought to be the best chance they could have at survival. The surgery was lymph node removal from the armpit and women have always agreed to having it done because their doctors always told them that it would help them live longer and keep the cancer from coming back. What doctors find today is that breast cancer surgery like this does no good in one out of five women who have it done in America. It doesn't help them live longer, it doesn't help them beat breast cancer any better and it doesn't keep the cancer from coming back. All that it does is to give these poor women a lot of pain from the surgery and a possible shot at an infection called lymphedema that can be quite bothersome.
Breast cancer detection is something that doctors and women take rather too seriously. That's what new research has found. To be more specific, women who have their mammograms telling them that there is something not quite right with the picture, are going and getting full-blown surgical biopsies far more than they should - when they should instead get simpler and less invasive needle biopsies. It was a study published in the American Journal of Surgery that found this - that while the literature recommends that no more than one out of ten women who get abnormal mammograms get a surgical biopsy done, there were three or four out of ten instead who really got one done.
Breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in women. It affects approximately one out of eleven to twelve women at some stage of their life. Next to lung cancer, breast cancer is the second most fatal cancer in women. The breast is composed of identical tissues in males and females, that is why breast cancer can also occur in males but the incidence is very low, less than one percent.