A new study, which is shaking the pillars of mainstream breast cancer care, has found that lymph node surgery for women, who had early breast cancer which had spread to the lymph nodes, did not improve their survival rate or prevent the further spread of cancer to other lymph nodes. The painful procedure of having cancerous lymph nodes removed has long been routine for breast cancer patients.
The discovery turns standard medical practice on its head. Surgeons have been removing lymph nodes from under the arms of breast cancer patients for 100 years, believing it would prolong women’s lives by keeping the cancer from spreading or coming back.
The study, The American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0011 trial, which is being published this month in The Journal of the American Medical Association, was conducted at 115 medical centers and included 891 women. The median age was in the mid-50s, and the participants were followed for a median of 6.3 years.
After an initial node biopsy, women were randomly assigned to have 10 or more additional nodes removed or to leave the nodes alone. Over time, two groups had no difference in survival or recurrence.
Study authors Dr. Grant Walter Carlson and Dr. William C. Wood said that the study “definitively showed that axillary lymph node dissection is not beneficial,”
“Survival was independent of lymph node status” the study authors noted.
“Taken together, findings from these [and other] investigators provide strong evidence that patients undergoing partial mastectomy, whole-breast irradiation, and systemic therapy for early breast cancer with microscopic sentinel lymph node metastasis can be treated effectively and safely without axillary node dissection,” they said.
“This is such a radical change in thought that it’s been hard for many people to get their heads around it,” said another study author, Dr. Monica Morrow, chief of the breast service at Sloan-Kettering.
The author of an editorial accompanying the study, Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University professor of surgery Dr. Grant W. Carlson, said: “I have a feeling we’ve been doing a lot of harm (by routinely taking out many nodes).”
Indeed, women in the study who had nodes taken out were far more likely to have complications (70 percent versus 25 percent). Such complications included infections, abnormal sensations and fluid collecting in the armpit, and lymphedema.
Dr. Armando E. Giuliano, the lead author of the study and the chief of surgical oncology at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, reported that the standard practice of lymph node removal has been so ingrained that “some prominent institutions wouldn’t even take part in (the study).”
Coupled with recent findings about unnecessary mastectomies, and the proven dangers and ineffectiveness of chemo and radiation, the study is yet another indictment of the failed mainstream cancer treatments used in the failed “War on Cancer”. Perhaps someday, mainstream medical science will come full circle and finally realize that clinging to ineffective and harmful treatments, which try to cut out, poison out or burn out the symptoms of cancer, will never cure cancer. A much better idea would be to look first to using nature to address cancer’s root causes and build up immune systems, which are the natural first line of defense against cancer and other illness.
For one example of a natural immune boosting and cancer fighting protocol, which has had tremendous success, see “A Natural Anti-Cancer Protocol“
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