For breast cancer patients, undergoing a lumpectomy is often status-quo. However, at times the surgery is followed by the removal of underarm lymph nodes, a process that is both uncomfortable and emotionally-draining.
Now, women who are diagnosed early with the disease may be able to spare themselves a bit of pain, according to the New York Times
Researchers at the University College London studied 991 breast cancer patients over the course of five years, removing the lymph nodes of half of the women. What they discovered was that there was no noticeable difference in life expectancy between the two groups.
"We're now getting really good long-term survival for breast cancer," Michael Baum, lead investigator of the radiation study, told the news source. "The theme is now how can we improve the quality of life for women."
The researchers also discovered that a single radiation dose administered directly to the tumor site was as effective as weeks of the treatment, which is now standard procedure.
Overall, women are encouraged to play an active role in their breast health in order to ensure early detection. According to experts, those diagnosed with stage one breast cancer are often given a 90 percent 5-year survival rate.