Study dispels myth that cancer biopsies cause cancer spread

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According to a new study published in the journal Gut, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, have found that cancer biopsies do not cause cancer to spread and that patients who underwent a biopsy had better outcomes than those who did not receive one.

For the study, researchers analyzed the Medicare data of over 2,000 patients with non-metastatic pancreatic cancer who underwent surgery for their disease. Of those, about approximately 500 had an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration, while the other 1,500 did not.

Results showed that during a median follow-up time of 21 months, 57% of those who received a biopsy and 76% of those that did not died. Fifty percent of those in the biopsy group compared with 64% of the non-biopsy group were found to have died as a result of pancreatic cancer.

Furthermore, the median overall survival in the biopsy group was 22 months versus 15 months in the non-biopsy group. The findings suggest that the minimally invasive fine needle aspiration technique does not causes cancer to spread, and undergoing a biopsy even improves mortality and overall survival.

This study does not only apply to those with pancreatic cancer as the fine needle aspiration technique is used across various tumor types.

Study dispels myth that cancer biopsies cause cancer spread
Cancer biopsies do not cause cancer to spread.
A study of more than 2,000 patients by researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has dispelled the myth that cancer biopsies cause cancer to spread. 9 online issue of Gut, they show that patients who received a biopsy had a better outcome and longer survival than patients who did not have a biopsy.
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