Good timing

THE success of breast cancer surgery may partly depend on the phase of the menstrual cycle at which it is performed. Researchers at Guy’s Hospital in London reanalysed tissue samples from women with breast cancer to see if those who had tumours removed during the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (days 3 to 12) had a poorer prognosis than those operated on in the luteal phase (days 0 to 2 and 13 to 32). The study, reported in the British Journal of Cancer (vol 77, p 1502), confirmed that operations performed during the luteal phase had the best outcome. “We may be able to improve prognosis if we choose the optimum time at which to remove the tumour,” says Ian Fentiman,
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