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Radiation after mastectomy underused, U-M study finds
Date:3/29/2010

re more likely to receive radiation than patients whose doctor was less involved.

"Even patients who wanted to avoid radiation therapy were very likely to receive it if their surgeons were highly involved in the decision process. We need to do a better job of educating both patients and physicians regarding the benefits of radiation after mastectomy in certain circumstances, and we need to encourage physicians to help their patients as they make these important decisions," Jagsi says.

In patients with strong indications for radiation after mastectomy, their risk of the cancer coming back in the chest wall or surrounding areas can exceed 30 percent. This is reduced by two-thirds if the patient undergoes radiation treatments, and overall survival is improved.

Methodology: The researchers surveyed 2,260 women in the Los Angeles and Detroit metropolitan areas who had been diagnosed with breast cancer between 2005 to 2007. Women were identified through the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results registry. Participants were asked about their breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, including whether they received radiation therapy.

Breast cancer statistics: 194,280 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,610 will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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