MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Radiation beneficial for older breast cancer patients

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Radiation beneficial for older breast cancer patients




A patients with breast cancer age alone should not determine whether or not she receives standard breast-conservation therapys, including a lumpectomy and radiation treatment; however, if additional health problems (comorbidities) are present, therapys should be individualized based on age and the type of comorbidities, as per a research studyin the April 1 edition of the International Journal for Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.



Radiation beneficial for older breast cancer patients

The occurrence of breast cancer in women increases as women age. As per the National Cancer Institutes SEER Cancer Statistics Review, women between the ages of 75 and 79 have the highest occurence rate of breast cancer diagnoses at 497 cases per 100,000 people. Along with cancer, most women in this age group are dealing with additional health problems. As per a 1999 womens health and aging study in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, the majority of older patients diagnosed with cancer have at least one other medical condition and more than half of patients with cancer over the age of 65 have three or more associated medical conditions.

This study, conducted by the departments of Radiation Oncology, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and Medicine, Division of Geriatrics, at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine in Philadelphia, sought to determine the impact of these additional medical problems on patients with breast cancer who receive the same standard therapys as patients with no additional medical problems and if old age is a reason to deny some standard therapys.

Most randomized trials that compare outcomes of breast-conserving surgery with and without radiation consistently show more positive outcomes when radiation is used; however, most of the trials exclude women older than 70 years old so there is not a lot of data on the impact of radiation on older women.

Between 1979 and 2002, 238 women, 70 years old and older, with Stage I or II invasive carcinoma of the breast received breast-conservation treatment and their outcomes were compared by age groups and comorbidities. Most of the patients studied had mild comorbidities.

The scientists observed that the number of deaths from breast cancer among the patients studied was similar to the number seen among all age groups of patients without additional medical problems. The scientists also observed that the majority of elderly women with early-stage breast cancers and mild comorbidities actually benefited from the use of radiation and had minimal side effects.

The overall survival rates for the patients in the five- and 10-year follow-up periods were 80 percent and 50 percent, respectively; however, more deaths during the 10-year period were caused by intercurrent diseases than breast cancer.

Doctors need to understand that comorbidities should be the determining factor in deciding an older patients course of therapy, not age, said Eleanor Harris, M.D., clinical director of radiation oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla. There is a sense in the field that elderly women need less therapy than younger women, but we should not be under treating women simply because they have passed the age of 70.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
A patients with breast cancer age alone should not determine whether or not she receives standard breast-conservation therapys, including a lumpectomy and radiation treatment; however, if additional health problems (comorbidities) are present, therapys should be individualized based on age and the type of comorbidities, as per a research studyin the April 1 edition of the International Journal for Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

Medicineworld.org: Radiation beneficial for older breast cancer patients

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.