Newswise — Physicians believe that the use of regional anesthesia is associated with lower levels of inflammation and a better immune response in breast cancer surgery patients.

The period pre-, during, and post-operation plays a crucial role in the survival of patients with cancer. Experimental studies in animals suggest that the type of anesthesia given during and after surgery might impact growth of cancerous tumors.

A study in the November/December issue of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine summarizes the current evidence on the influence of regional anesthesia during breast cancer surgery on cancer recurrence and patient survival. This review of the literature compares the use of a regional anesthesia to a general anesthetic during breast cancer surgery and the rate of long-term survival between the two methods. The researchers found that regional anesthesia was linked to better outcomes; however, more studies are needed to draw firm conclusions.

“Impact of Regional Anesthesia on Recurrence, Metastasis and Immune Response in Breast Cancer Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature” by Dr. Oscar Pérez-González, Dr. Luis F. Cuéllar-Guzmán, Dr. José Soliz, and Dr. Juan P. Cata was published in the November/December issue of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, the official journal of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. 

The American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine is a professional member organization of more than 4,000 physicians and healthcare providers across the United States and the world. Founded in 1975, the mission of ASRA is to advance the science and practice of regional anesthesia and pain medicine to improve patient outcomes through research, education, and advocacy. ASRA is headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, visit

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Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine