(HealthDay News) — New surgery guidelines for treatment of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who undergo breast-conserving surgery with whole breast radiation could reduce both unnecessary surgeries and recurrence rates, three U.S. cancer groups say. The consensus guideline was published in the three groups’ journals, the Annals of Surgical Oncology, Practical Radiation Oncology, and the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The guideline writing panel reviewed current evidence, including 30 studies with 7,883 patients.

“The use of a 2-mm margin as the standard for an adequate margin in DCIS treated with whole breast radiation therapy is associated with low rates of recurrence of cancer in the breast and has the potential to decrease re-excision rates, improve cosmetic outcome, and decrease health care costs,” according to the guideline from the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “Margins more widely clear than 2 mm do not further reduce the rates of recurrence of cancer in the breast and their routine use is not supported by evidence.”

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“With this guideline, it is our two-pronged goal to help physicians improve the quality of care they provide to women undergoing surgery for DCIS, and ultimately improve outcomes for those patients,” panel member Mariana Chavez-MacGregor, M.D., of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said in a news release from the three groups. “We hope the guideline also translates into peace of mind for women who will know that future surgeries may not be needed.”

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