Older Breast Ca Patients: Skip Radiation?
An abstract presented at the American Association for Cancer Research concluded that radiation therapy did not reduce the risk of local recurrence of breast cancer beyond the benefit afforded by tamoxifen alone in women older than 60 with certain types of the disease.
MedPage Today reports that although the data should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal, study author Fei-Fei Liu, MD of the University of Toronto pointed out that avoiding radiation therapy for these patients could lead to a $400 million savings in healthcare costs.
In addition, Liu noted that radiation therapy can cause side effects, some of which may be severe. He also said that therapy schedules usually require daily appointments, which can be inconvenient for patients.