A new study, funded by Sarcoma UK, has revealed specialist centres are better at treating breast sarcoma patients. Those who were treated in non-specialist sarcoma centres were found to require multiple operations to treat their cancer.
Here, we look at the latest research and why specialist centres ultimately provide better outcomes.
Specialist centres deliver better outcomes with fewer surgeries
Researchers at the University College London Hospital assessed data from 684 patients who had been diagnosed with breast sarcoma between 2013 and 2018.
It was discovered that 1 in 4 of those who were treated in a specialist centre required more than one surgery. This rose to 4 in 10 for those who were treated at a general facility.
While the National Service Specification for Sarcoma requires all those with a suspected sarcoma case to be reviewed by a specialist centre, treatment can take place anywhere. Research suggests that just 1 in 3 patients end up having surgery at a specialist centre in England.
The importance of a diagnostic biopsy
A key part of reducing the need for multiple surgeries is a diagnostic biopsy. This includes taking a sample of the sarcoma. Worryingly, the research showed that just 72% of patients receive a diagnostic biopsy at non-specialist centres. At specialist centres, this rises to 83% of patients.
A biopsy helps to establish the severity of the sarcoma. This gives healthcare providers the best guide of how to approach the surgery. If they know exactly what they are dealing with, surgeons have a much better chance of removing the sarcoma during the first procedure.
Mr Myles Smith carries out a diagnostic biopsy for each patient at the clinic.
What is breast sarcoma?
Breast sarcomas are rare, and there are several different types. They occur within the connective tissue of the breast and are also referred to as Phyllodes. Most commonly found in pre-menopausal women, they can be benign, borderline, or malignant.
If you have malignant Phyllodes, they present more like soft tissue sarcoma than they do any other form of breast cancer. Symptoms can include:
- A hard, smooth lump
- A lump that grows rapidly over a period of weeks or months
- Abnormal mass visible on breast screening
- A bulge
Surgery is the main form of treatment used to treat breast sarcomas. A lumpectomy is performed to remove the tumour and a small portion of healthy surrounding tissue. This aims to prevent the cancer from recurring.
The findings of the latest research show the importance of undergoing treatment for breast sarcomas in a specialist facility. When you book privately with Mr Myles Smith, you will receive a diagnostic biopsy, and a tailored approach to remove the cancer.