Daily Health Headlines

More Breast Cancer Patients Should Consider Radiation, New Guidelines Say

👤by Kathleen Doheny 0 comments 🕔Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should consider radiation therapy after a mastectomy.

Overall, the guidelines say there's enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy.

"The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement," said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines.

One radiation treatment expert welcomed the updated recommendations.

"The guideline is timely," said Dr. Janna Andrews, an attending physician in radiation medicine at Norwell Health Cancer Institute, in Lake Success, N.Y. "The field of post-mastectomy radiation is changing. It's always up for discussion now as to who needs [post-mastectomy radiation therapy]."

The new guidelines help clarify what used to be a gray area, Andrews explained. "In the past, if a woman had a small tumor, less than 5 centimeters, and not more than three or four positive lymph nodes, many doctors would say she does not need [post-mastectomy radiation therapy]," she said.

The guidelines don't offer a single formula for which patients need radiation therapy, Edge noted. But they do focus on the group of women for whom there is the most debate about the value of radiation.

"There is a great deal of controversy about whether women with one, two or three lymph nodes [with cancer] have sufficient risk to warrant radiation," he said. "For women with four or more lymph nodes involved, everyone would recommend radiation."

The guidelines also strongly support input from all specialists who treat breast cancer in making the decision about radiation treatment. That typically includes the surgeon, radiation physician and an oncologist.

Doctors need to weigh the risks and benefits, Edge added. Side effects can include redness of the skin, swelling and skin breakdown severe enough to compromise future breast reconstruction, he explained.

Edge said that doctors need to consider patients individually. For instance, he explained, ''a woman 65 who has microscopic involvement in a single lymph node and an estrogen-receptor positive cancer would be very different from a 38-year-old who has three lymph nodes involved and so-called triple-negative breast cancer." The younger woman, he said, would typically be advised to get radiation.

The older woman, because her risk is lower, should have a discussion with her doctor to decide if the benefit outweighs the risk, Edge noted.

Andrews said that one take-home message for patients is to expect the surgeon to have consulted with the radiation oncologist and others on her team. If a woman's doctor tells her she does not need radiation after a mastectomy, the woman should be told why and she should ask if the radiation oncologist weighed in on the decision.

Edge was a panel representative from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which created the guidelines along with the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the Society of Surgical Oncology.

All three groups published the guidelines online this week in their respective journals: the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Practical Radiation Oncology and the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

Article Credits / Source

Kathleen Doheny / HealthDay

Kathleen Doheny wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Stephen Edge, M.D., vice president, healthcare outcomes and policy, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, N.Y.; Janna Andrews, M.D., attending physician, radiation medicine, Northwell Health Cancer Institute, Lake Success, N.Y., and assistant clinical professor, Hofstra-Northwell School of Medicine, Hempstead, N.Y.; Sept. 19, 2016, Journal of Clinical Oncology; Practical Radiation Oncology; Annals of Surgical Oncology, online

View More Articles From Kathleen Doheny 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Cancer Articles

No Benefit From Routine Thyroid Cancer Screening: Task Force

No Benefit From Routine Thyroid Cancer Screening: Task Force0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors should not screen for thyroid cancer in patients who have no symptoms of the disease, according to a U.S. Preventive Services Task Force draft recommendation. It reaffirms a recommendation ...

Depressed Women Less Likely to Get Best Breast Cancer Care: Study

Depressed Women Less Likely to Get Best Breast Cancer Care: Study0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer patients with a history of depression are less likely to receive recommended care for their disease, a new study finds. The study included more than 45,000 Danish women diagnosed with ...

Earnings Fall After a Child's Cancer Diagnosis

Earnings Fall After a Child's Cancer Diagnosis0

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- After a child's cancer diagnosis, parents' income often drops and mothers frequently stop working, a new study finds. Moreover, the financial effects of a cancer diagnosis can last years, with mothers' ...

Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal Antibodies0

home / cancer center / cancer a-z list / monoclonal antibodies index / monoclonal antibodies drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. Ogbru received his ...

New Drug May Brighten Outlook for Advanced Breast Cancer

New Drug May Brighten Outlook for Advanced Breast Cancer0

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A recently approved drug can help slow the progression of advanced breast cancer, a new clinical trial confirms. The drug, called palbociclib (Ibrance), was approved in the United States last year ...

View More Cancer Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!