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Breast Cancer Blog: Radiation Therapy After Lumpectomy Improves Survival

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Dec 16, 2005

Radiation Therapy After Lumpectomy Improves Survival

Radiation Therapy After Lumpectomy Improves Survival
Almost every clinical trial involving post-operative radiation in women with breast cancer has shown benefit in terms of reducing the recurrence of breast cancer. It was not clear until now if radiation therapy actually improves survival and makes women with breast cancer live longer. A new study seems to show just the same.

To come to this conclusion, researchers analyzed 78 clinical trials in a process called meta-analysis and showed that use of post-operative radiation therapy decreases five year recurrence rate of breast cancer from 26 percent to 7 percent. The researchers also demonstrated for the first time a survival advantage with post-operative radiation therapy by showing the odds of dying from the disease decreases from 36 percent to 31 percent with the use of radiation therapy.

Patients who had mastectomy, also benefited from post-operative radiation therapy. Radiation therapy is usually given to patients with mastectomy only if they are high risk of recurrence of breast cancer due to involvement of multiple lymph nodes.

"This study provides the first really definite evidence that, for women who've had breast-conserving surgery and for women whose cancer has spread to the armpit, radiotherapy reduces the long-term risk of dying from the disease," said Dr Richard Peto, a co-author of the report.

These research findings appeared in the latest issue of the medical journal Lancet.

Sherin      



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Janet      


Breast cancer
Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer ranks second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Until recently breast cancer topped the list of leading causes of cancer deaths in women, but lately lung cancer has claimed the top position. If skin cancer is excluded, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among American women.

Breast Cancer Blog: Radiation Therapy After Lumpectomy Improves Survival

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