Monday, August 13 2012, 06:12 PM MDT
Radiation After Lumpectomies
(KUTV) A new study is raising questions about medical treatment for older women with breast cancer.
Some doctors do not recommend radiation treatment for older women after a lumpectomy.
Now a new study finds that some older women may want radiation after removing the cancerous lump because that may help prevent more surgery later.
“The majority of women that they looked at were benefitted by radiation. It reduced the need for mastectomies,” Dr. Freya Schnabel from the NYU Langone Medical Center says.
The study in The Journal Cancer looked at 7,400 women ages 70-79 who had a lumpectomy. Most of them received radiation afterward. Researchers found within 10 years, about 6% of those women did not need additional surgery –while half that number needed a mastectomy.
While certain guidelines suggest older women with early stage breast cancer may not need radiation after a lumpectomy, experts say these findings show some women will benefit from radiation treatment.
The study found one group of women that may not benefit –women over 75 with low grade breast cancer.
“For those patients the decision of whether or not to use radiation after a lumpectomy should be something that is discussed with their doctors,” Schnabel says.
According to the study, ten years after their diagnosis, 3.2% of women who’d had radiation after lumpectomy had gone on to get a mastectomy compared to 6.3% in the group that did not receive radiation.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)