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Best time for breast cancer surgery.

A separate study by Senie's group adds to evidence suggesting that breast cancer surgery is best performed during the last half (luteal phase) of a woman's menstrual cycle.

Last year, British researchers reported a similar finding and speculated that women who undergo breast surgery during the luteal phase may fare better because the production of estrogen tapers off then (SN: 6/8/91, p. 365). Estrogen promotes the growth of some breast tumors, and any cancer cells that escape from such a tumor during the luteal phase may be less likely to get estrogen's message to proliferate.

Senie's new data support that controversial view. In a study of 283 women, she and her colleagues discovered that women who had undergone breast surgery during the luteal phase were less likely to suffer a recurrence than women who had surgery during the estrogen-rich first half of their cycle.

The study may spur skeptical surgeons to take a second look at the evidence on this issue, says Helene Smith of the Geraldine Brush Cancer Research Institute in San Francisco.
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Author:Fackelmann, Kathy A.
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Apr 11, 1992
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