Guidelines Result from Susan G. Komen Funding of Medical Consortium that
Included Leading Practitioners and Komen Patient Advocate
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- New surgical guidelines announced today by the Society
of Surgical Oncology (SSO) and the American Society for Radiation Oncology
(ASTRO) have the potential to significantly reduce unnecessary breast surgeries,
improve patient outcomes and empower women to make important decisions with
their doctors about their breast cancer treatment. The new guidelines are the
result of a Komen-funded comprehensive review of the value of removing large
amounts of breast tissue beyond the "margins" or area around the edge of a
cancerous breast tumor.
SSO and ASTRO noted that about 25 percent of breast cancer patients are asked to
return to the operating room following a lumpectomy to obtain a wider margin by
removing more normal tissue around the cancer, known as "re-excision" of the
Whether this second procedure is beneficial in reducing the risk of local
recurrence, and how much tissue should be removed, has been a topic of ongoing
debate in the medical community. To answer this question, Komen provided funding
to Dr. Monica Morrow of the SSO to convene leaders in surgical oncology,
radiation oncology, medical oncology, pathology and patient advocacy, including
representation from Komen's Advocates in Science (AIS) member Peggy Johnson. The
panel convened in 2013 to determine the optimal margin width in
breast-conserving surgery for stage I and II invasive breast cancer.
The findings announced today show that evidence does not support the routine
removal of larger amounts of healthy breast tissue beyond the edge of the tumor
for any women, including those with aggressive triple negative breast cancer.
SSO and ASTRO are releasing the guidelines to doctors and oncologists today in
hopes of influencing clinical practice.
"One of our most important goals is ensuring that breast cancer patients get the
right treatment for them, and can make informed choices about their care. We
hope these guidelines can reduce anxiety, unnecessary re-excisions and even
patient treatment costs. They should become an important part of the discussion
between a woman and her medical team," said Komen President and CEO Judith A.
Salerno, M.D., M.S.
Peggy Johnson, a Komen Advocate in Science, commended the panel for its
thoughtful review of the issue. "There are so many decisions that a patient has
to make after a breast cancer diagnosis. Our goal as patient advocates is to
ensure that patients are informed and consulted, and that they are making
decisions based on the best evidence available. I was honored as a patient
advocate to serve on this panel, and look forward to more collaborations for the
benefit of women and men facing breast cancer."
With more than $33 million invested in research on improved screening and
diagnostic methods and $37.5 million invested in understanding how to improve
patient quality of life, these guidelines build upon Komen's commitment to
ensuring quality care for all patients and leading the future of breast cancer
Advancing patient knowledge and representation throughout the breast cancer
continuum of care also continues to be a key area of focus for Komen. Through
groups like the AIS, established in 2008, patient advocates bring a real-world
understanding of what most impacts those affected by breast cancer, and an
urgency to find cures and more effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Read the SSO-ASTRO guidelines here or in Annals of Surgical Oncology.
About Susan G. Komen(R)
Susan G. Komen is the world's largest breast cancer organization, funding more
breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help
to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more
than $800 million in research and provided almost $1.7 billion in funding to
screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving
millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by
Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end
the disease that claimed Suzy's life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
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Susan G. Komen
Andrea Rader, 972-855-4382
Source: Susan G. Komen