Increased oxidative damage to membrane lipids following surgery for breast cancer.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the level of oxidative damage to membrane lipids due to the breast cancer surgery in the early postoperative period.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Blood samples were collected on the preoperative day and 24 hours postoperatively in 71 women operated for breast cancer, and preoperatively in 38 female patients with benign breast tumour. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) in the blood samples was estimated by measuring the concentrations of malondialdehyde+4-hydroxyalkenals (MDA+4-HDA) with spectrophotometry.

CLINICAL DATA INCLUDED: tumour site, tumour histological findings, cancer stage, grade, tumour volume, state of lymph nodes, type of surgery for breast, type of surgery for axilla.

RESULTS: Blood LPO level was similar in breast cancer patients and benign tumour patients (2.01±0.46 nmol/ml vs. 1.92±0.39 nmol/ml, respectively; p>0.05). In cancer patients, MDA+4-HDA increased on the first postoperative day, i.e. from 2.01±0.46 nmol/ml to 2.58±0.98 nmol/ml (p=0.0001). In women with benign breast tumour, LPO did not relate to the histological finding (p=0.8915). In the breast cancer group, preoperative LPO did not correlate with age, tumour volume and number of metastatic lymph nodes. Level of MDA+4-HDA was similar in stages I/II (2.03±0.46 nmol/ml) compared to stages III/IV (1.69±0.26 nmol/ml, p=0.1521). Consequently, levels of MDA+4-HDA did not relate to disease stage (p=0.1364).

CONCLUSIONS: Surgery for breast cancer causes peripheral increase in oxidative damage to macromolecules in the early postoperative period. Therefore, perioperative antioxidant supplementation should be considered.

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