Study sees benefit from more extensive breast cancer surgery

(AP Photo/American Cancer Society)

CHICAGO (AP) – A new study could change care for many women who have breast cancer surgery.

Doctors found that routinely shaving a little extra tissue around a tumor greatly lowers the risk that some cancer will be left behind.

The study is aimed at lowering the rate of positive margins, areas at the edge of a tumor that look healthy but are found to harbor cancer when studied later. There is no good way to tell during an operation whether doctors got it all.

In the study, women who had a little extra tissue shaved off were half as likely to need a second surgery to remove cancer that was left behind.

The study was discussed Saturday at a cancer conference and published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.

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