A study that was published in the May 2nd issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at partial and full radiation treatment for breast cancer in women. The study found that women who received partial breast radiation, or brachytherapy, were more likely to have breast cancer reoccur.
From 2003 to 2007, researchers studied the records of 93,000 women aged 67 and older, some of which received whole breast radiation, and some of which received brachytherapy. The women who had whole breast radiation experienced less breast pain and were less likely to have breast cancer return later on.
The study concluded that although whole breast radiation was the better treatment, the survival rates for both types of radiation were the same.
According to Dr. Benjamin Smith, who was the author of the study, women should not completely rule out brachytherapy, despite these findings. Dr. Smith said, “There is nothing in our study saying that a woman should not choose brachytherapy if they want the convenience, but I think it is helpful for women to think about the trade-offs, such as higher rates of mastectomy, postoperative complications and infections.”
To read more about this study and both types of treatment, click here.