New findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association  yesterday report that a long accepted but invasive protocol for treating breast cancer may not be necessary in some 20 percent of patients.  

The painful procedure involves removing cancerous lymph nodes from the armpit in order to prevent the cancer from spreading. According to the report, removing the cancerous nodes was unnecessary when doctors also prescribed regimens of radiation and chemotherapy in a significant amount of all breast cancer patients.   Dr. Elisa Port, Chief of Breast Surgery and Associate Professor of Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center says the new study will definitely change the practice of treating a significant subset of patients.

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