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Lee Wilke, MD, professor in the UW Department of Surgery and director of the UW Breast Center, was the lead author on a recent study that showed one in four women who underwent lump removal for breast cancer had repeat surgery. The study looked at more than 316,000 patients who had a single lumpectomy between 2004 and 2010. Nearly a quarter of those women underwent at least one additional operation to further reduce risk of cancer returning.

The objective of the study was to determine the patient, tumor and facility factors associated with repeat surgeries. Dr. Wilke says with this baseline research complete, the breast cancer care community can work toward a much lower goal for repeat surgeries. Dr. Wilke noted that UW Health has reduced its repeat rate to less than 20 percent and has a goal of 10 percent or less.

The study was published online on November 12 in the journal JAMA Surgery, along with a related editorial that encourages surgeons to adopt standard guidelines for breast tumor margins removal. News articles about the study appeared in numerous publications across the country, including U.S. News & World Report, Medscape and WebMD.

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