The study was published in the JAMA Oncology medical journal and was submitted by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. It was performed on two group of women: one which were administered normal radiation dosage over the course of six week, while the other were put on high-dosage program for four weeks.
Comparing the two, the center found out that women put on the shorter treatment with higher dosage generally suffer from less side effects and also admitted to a better quality of life than the other group. Toxicity levels were equalized in six months’ time, buy the high-dosage group still felt less fatigue and were able to partake more actively in daily routines. However, there was no difference between the two treatment courses in containing tumors.
” Patients who received the shorter course (of radiation) reported less difficulty in caring for their families’ needs. It’s paramount that we address this need” said Simona Shaitelman, an University of Texas professor of Radiation Oncology and doctor at the MD Anderson Cancer Center who was involved with the study.
Generally, breast cancer has been treated with short radiation doses ever since research indicated that lumpectomy and radiation were effective in combating it. The MD Anderson Cancer Center was one of the innovators in the field when it started using high-dose treatment around 2013. However, this type of treatment is still mainly shunned by oncologists, even in cases where it is actually recommended; only about one third of breast cancer patients eligible for high-dosage treatment are also receiving it.
Breast cancer has caused a concerning trend lately, as women who have chances of developing it are becoming more prone towards the idea of preventively removing their breasts and ovaries. Some argue that there are many cases where masectomies are performed unnecessarily, as some patients have way lower chances of developing cancer then others.
The problem is that this is where specialist counseling should intervene, but its either bypassed on the patient side who wants to go on the safe route, either there is little an oncologist can do in figuring out a realist probability of cancer for that individual case. Most famously, actor and director Angelina Jolie performed a double masectomy and also removed her ovaries after her personal doctors estimated high probabilities of developin cancer in those areas.
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