North Texas Hospital Helps Limit Need for Mastectomies

Researchers at North Texas Hospital are performing a clinical study that is helping to reduce the number of mastectomies breast cancer patients have to undergo. According to Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT, Dr. Peter Beitsch has been leading the study that analyzes the genetic material of breast cancer tumors. In result, doctors may be able to review this material to cater the treatment to each patient.

"In this study, we were trying to take big tumors and shrink them so that fewer women would have to get a mastectomy," Dr. Beitsch told the source. "It also gives us info on their specific chemo effect, whether the chemo they're getting is working for them."

The research has already helped Deborah Kirby, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year on her 61st birthday. Originally she wanted to undergo a mastectomy to avoid having to have chemotherapy. However, a genetic analysis made a mastectomy unnecessary, and the chemotherapy was able to get rid of her tumor.

The study is still ongoing and involves 1,000 patients. It's slated to be wrapped up in the fall of 2014.

According to the National Cancer Institutes, a mastectomy is an option for women who have genetic markers that put them at high risk of developing breast cancer.

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