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Nipple-Sparing Surgery Safe in Carefully Selected Patients

No differences in survival or recurrence in women who choose to keep nipple

MONDAY, May 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Women with early-stage breast cancer who choose to preserve the nipple during a mastectomy have similar survival or recurrence rates to women who undergo full breast removal, according to research scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, held from April 29 to May 3 in Orlando, Fla.

Lucy De La Cruz, M.D., a researcher at the University of Miami, performed a meta-analysis of 19 previously published studies. The studies included 5,393 patients. De La Cruz compared outcomes in women who had nipple-sparing surgery to those who had full breast removal. De La Cruz looked at the two approaches in terms of how often the cancer came back, including how often it recurred at the nipple area, and survival.

The nipple-sparing procedure was as safe as a standard full breast removal for all of these measures, according to the review. Six of the studies that compared overall survival between nipple-sparing and non-nipple-sparing surgery even found a 2.5 percent increased chance of survival in women who had the nipple-sparing procedure.

"Nipple-sparing surgery is oncologically safe in carefully selected women with early-stage breast cancer," De La Cruz told HealthDay.

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