Treat Breast Cancer With Fewer Side Effects
An important new study, conducted by teams of scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles, has revealed some vital new information for the future of breast cancer treatment. The results of this study could lead to new forms of breast cancer treatment being utilized that pose fewer dangerous side effects for the patients involved. This might be the largest study ever undertaken on long-term effects of breat cancer radiation and it could change the way this disease is treated on suffering patients all across the world.
This study has been ongoing for twenty years and has shown that breast cancer patients who are given a treatment program that involves one week of partial breast radiation encounter no greater risk of having cancer again than those who were made to follow a six-week plan of full breast radiation. This is an incredible finding as it means that breast cancer patients who undergo some form of surgery for the removal of a tumor do not need to have as much radiation as previously thought. With only partial breast radiation and shorter treatment times, patients have much lower chances of encountering harmful side effects than those who have long treatment plans.
Breast cancer patients are traditionally given full breast radiation for up to six weeks in order to eradicate any risks of cancer recurrence. However, this study, led by Dr. Mitchell Kamrava, one of the assistant professors of radiation oncology at UCLA, has now shown that these risks are imaginary. By performing partial radiation treatment, Kamrava and his team have proven that the treatment program can be reduced from six weeks to just one. This is because the radiation is focused on the affected area and can therefore be utilized in more potent doses.
One of the most important changes that the results of this study could bring about is a reduction in side effects on breast cancer patients. In partial breast radiation treatments, the radiation does not come into contact with other areas and organs of the body as frequently as with full breast radiation. With less radiation coming into contact with organs like the skin and lungs, there is less change of these parts of the body being negatively affected by the treatment. With less side effects, breast cancer patients will have less anxiety and fear about the whole process of being cured.
Kamrava encourages women who are suffering from breast cancer to take the first step and speak to their doctors about this more effective form of treatment. After analyzing a group of over one thousand women over the course of several years, Kamrava and his team are confident that the results they have obtained should conclusively show the benefits of partial radiation. If breast cancer can start to be treated with fewer side effects for the patients, this could be an important step towards even more effective treatment techniques in the future.