A new study by Dutch researchers suggest that even tiny stray of tumor or minute spread of breast cancer to a lymph node raises risk of recurrence in later years and requires treatment more than just surgery.
For years, doctors and patients have struggled with what to do about a microscopic tumor or stray cancer cells in a lymph node.
Usually women with microscopic tumors present in lymph nodes are given chemotherapy or estrogen blocking drugs or even both.
However, for those with isolated cancer cells it is not recommended, because those were thought to be of low concern.
The new study challenges that view. It suggests that either type of metastasis, or spread, raises a woman’s risk of having cancer show up in the breast or anywhere else in the next five years by about 50 per cent.
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