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Research on deciding whether to undergo lumpectomy or mastectomy indicates that lumpectomy does not increase risk of breast cancer coming back

New research published in the March 2014 issue of JAMA Surgery titled "Breast Conserving Therapy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer" indicates that lumpectomy does not increase the risk of the breast cancer coming back.  Triple negative breast cancer means that you are estrogen receptor negative; progesterone receptor negative and HER2 negative.  About 10-20% of breast cancers are triple negative.  This means that estrogen and progesterone doesn fuel the growth of this cancer.  As such, it means that they do not respond to hormonal therapy such as Tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitors or therapies that target HER2 receptors, such as Herceptin, Tykerb or Perjeta.  Because it doesn't respond to these therapies, many doctors recommend mastectomy rather than lumpectomy, but no standard recommendations have been developed.

This research was done to see if there were any differences in the risk of recurrence for women who had lumpectomy and radiation vs. those who had mastectomy.  This study found that women with triple negative breast cancer who have lumpectomy and radiation don't have a higher risk of local recurrence.  This may help many women who prefer to have lumpectomy and they can know that this will not increase their risk of local recurrence.