New Approach to Breast Cancer Radiotherapy Could be Key to More Successful Treatment

Findings of a new research study have suggested that doctors might have been going about breast cancer radiotherapy treatment the wrong way all this time. According to scientists at the University of Texas, a short-term radiotherapy treatment at higher doses of radiation could lead to better levels of success than lower doses administered over a long time.

Despite the fact that radiotherapy has been around for a long time as one of the most effective ways of treating cancer, it is not always a guarantee that it is going to be successful as most people, more so those suffering from cancer, would hope.

According to Dr. Simona Shaitelman from the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center who was also the first author of the latest study, cancer patients who were administered the shorter radiotherapy course had reported much less difficulty when it comes to caring for the needs of their families. She added that this is a key priority for women when they are undergoing breast cancer radiotherapy.

The UT assistant professor of radiation oncology also added that since most of these women are busy working moms who are juggling between a myriad of priorities either at home or outside, it is very important that this issue is addressed.

SLU Care breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Theresa Schwartz, rebuffs the myth in the assumption by many that the side effects of the radiotherapy would be the same whether administered for shorter or longer periods of time due to the fact that the same amount of radiation is being given.

In their study, people administered the shorter-time dosage were observed to experience fewer side effects, less skin irritation and less fatigue.

Another author of this study, MD Anderson associate professor of radiation oncology Dr. Benjamin Smith, notes that the findings of this research study fill in a piece in the literature of cancer treatment that had been missing before. He further adds that rather than being regarded as just another option for cancer patients to consider, the shorter time course of radiotherapy should be the preferred starting point for patients in need of whole breast radiation.


Adnan Kubi

Adnan Kubi

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