Early Stage Breast Cancer Patients Benefit From Low Doses Of Radiotherapy

Armen Hareyan's picture

Women with early stages of breast cancer benefit from lower doses of radiation therapy as much as from internationally approved doses.

A joint team of scientists from Cancer Research UK, Medical Research Council, and Department of Health examined 45000 women during 10 years. Half of women received internationally accepted standard treatment radiotherapy course involving 25 sessions, 5 times a week, lasting 5 weeks. The other half of women received 20% lower therapy - 13 sessions during 3 or 5 weeks.


At the end of the study all women showed to similar low percentage of cancer repetition and the same level of benefit from radiation therapy. However, women who received lower doses of radiation had fewer side effects, such as healthy tissue hardening, breast shrinkage, swelling, and late adverse effects.

Low dose radiation treatment is more effective in both emotional and physical terms, because it shows the same effectiveness as high dose one shows. Also women don't have to pay more hospital visit. The less hospital visits are, the better women's emotional state is.

Professor John Yarnold from The Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital said: "The results suggest that a high total dose given in 25 small treatments is no better than simpler schedules using fewer exposures to a lower total dose. Shorter therapies giving fewer, larger treatments are obviously convenient for breast cancer patients."