Breast cancer surgery healing process may trigger relapse
A study has found that the body's natural healing process after surgery to take out a cancer growth could be causing cancer to spread.
CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — New research suggests that the healing process following breast cancer surgery may be triggering cancer in other sites to spread.
According to MIT News, previous studies of breast cancer patients indicate they are prone to metastatic relapse 12 to 18 months after undergoing surgery for growth removal.
It's been suggested that dormant cancer cells in other sites that were previously kept in check by the immune system are allowed to become active as the body focuses on healing its wound.
Experiments on mice conducted by the Whitehead Institute found that while T-cells stalled the growth of injected cancer cells, simulated surgeries in areas far from the cancer resulted in increased tumor growth and incidence.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Mice given anti-inflammatory drugs during or after surgery developed significantly smaller tumors, which often disappeared completely.
Early research in humans shows the same strong association between anti-inflammatory drug use and a decline in metastasis, but more studies are needed to confirm the data.
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