Women with early breast cancer who chose to preserve the nipple during a mastectomy had similar survival rates to women who underwent full breast removal, a study found.
“Nipple-sparing surgery is oncologically safe in carefully selected women with early stage breast cancer,” said Dr. Lucy De La Cruz, a researcher at the University of Miami.
In nipple-sparing surgery, the nipple is left in place. For the new study, Dr. De La Cruz compared the outcomes of women who had nipple-sparing surgery to those who had full breast removal.
Costs are similar, however, as is insurance reimbursement. The nipple-sparing surgery does give a more natural look after reconstruction than other techniques.
However, it’s still not a common procedure, with less than 5 percent of U.S. doctors offering the procedure.
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