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Surgery and menstrual cycle should coincide.

Surgery and Menstrual Cycle Should Coincide

ALBANY, N.Y.: Women of child-bearing age who have surgery for breast cancer have a far greater chance of survival if their surgery is timed to a particular point in their menstrual cycle, a new study has found.

The study, which was published in the English medical journal The Lancet (10/21/89), found that women whose surgery is performed near the midpoint of their menstrual cycle -- a week to each side of ovulation -- have a four to five times greater chance of surgical cure of breast cancer than do women who are operated on during or nearer to their menstrual period.

These findings were reported by William J.M. Hrushesky, M.D., professor of medicine and microbiology/immunobiology at the Albany Medical Center.

The medical researchers followed 44 women of child-bearing age for 12 years after their breast cancer surgery.

The researchers controlled for other factors that can also influence whether a woman's breast cancer recurs, such as tumor size and whether or not the woman received follow-up chemotherapy. Then they considered the influence of surgical timing and found that women having operations closer to the time of ovulation had a 4.5-fold lower risk of relapse and death from breast cancer than did women who were operated on during or nearer to their menstrual period.

There is extensive evidence regarding the effects of surgery on the immune system's ability to fight off infection and also modulate tumor growth and cancer spread, said Dr. Hrushesky.

"It is not known exactly how the timing of surgery impacts upon ultimate outcome in either the mice or the women that we have studied," Dr. Hrushesky said. "We do know that important immune defenses are different at different times of the menstrual cycle and that the highest levels of defense concur with the timing associated with the greatest cure."
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Title Annotation:surgery for breast cancer
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
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