Lung Cancer: Radiation After Surgery Offers No Help
Survival rates for lung cancer don’t improve after post-surgery radiation treatment, a new study shows. According to HealthDay News, older people who receive radiation therapy after surgery for stage three non-small cell lung cancer are no less likely to die than patients who go without radiation treatment.
In fact, with the many risks of radiation therapy, undergoing treatment may actually be damaging to a patient’s health.
“We found in this group of elderly patients, many of who received the treatment, the use of the treatment did not appear to help them live longer,” said study leader Juan Wisnivesky of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. “Patients need to be well informed. They have to have a good discussion with their doctor about what are the potential benefits.”
Wisnivesky and his team studied more than 1,300 lung cancer patients over the age of 65, all of whom had stage three non-small cell lung cancer. Of these, 710 received postoperative radiation treatment. Researchers checked in at one and three years, but none of the patients experienced large survival benefits.
About 226,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, the American Cancer Society says. Ninety percent of these cases will be non-small cell cancer.