A new study reveals that breast cancer patients get exposed to unnecessary radiation. Although the common belief is that cancer needs to be treated with as many procedures as possible in order to destroy the deadly tumors and keep them from spreading in the human body, recent studies reveal that this is not quite the case in treating breast cancer.
A new scientific paper that appeared in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) on December 10, show that women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer may not need to be exposed to radiation therapy for seven weeks, after the surgery of removing the tumors.
Scientists say that seven weeks is too long a period for the breast cancer patients to receive that much level of radiation into their bodies. The authors of the study say that three weeks with a higher level of intensity could be very effective.
One of the authors of the new cancer study, Dr. Justin Bekelman, said that more is not always a good thing when treating cancer. Dr. Bekelman, assistant professor of radiation oncology, medical ethics and health policy at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, added that:
“Often less is just right. But the challenge in cancer care is that way of thinking is not where we are today.”
Dr. Bekelman says that doctors and scientists who are trying to treat cancer face a challenge because many believe that the malign tumors should be attacked with a lot of radiation and chemotherapy in order to stop them from spreading and even destroying them.
But recently, studies have revealed that there are other options that could be just as effective, except for the fact that it will be easier on the cancer patients and will cost less.
Breast cancer patients get exposed to unnecessary radiation and the researchers say that it has been demonstrated in four trials that shorter periods of radiation sessions could have similar results in the treatment of cancer.
The scientists analyzed records from 9 million women with more than 15,000 diagnosed with breast cancer. It appeared that the rates of shorter radiation periods increased from 11% in 2008 to almost 34.5% in 2013. The scientists said that this is still only one third of the breast cancer patients who could have had shorter radiation sessions.