Study backs radiation for ductal breast cancer
Women who undergo breast-conserving surgery to treat the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer could cut the risk of recurrence by adding radiation and drug therapy to their treatment, according to a study conducted by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project based at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The study should reassure women with ductal carcinoma in situ that, after a lumpectomy, additional countermeasures such as radiation are not necessarily an indication of overtreatment, said Dr. Thomas Julian, principal investigator of the study, published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In DCIS, which accounts for 25 percent of breast cancer diagnoses, cancer cells are lodged in the breast ducts without invading other breast tissues.
"If you have the radiation, it is safe and it can keep the cancer from coming back," said Julian, associate director of the Breast Care Center at AGH in the North Side. Dr. Norman Wolmark, chairman of human oncology, was the senior author. "It's not 100 percent, but it reduces the chances, and therefore you have a better long-term survival."
The incidence of DCIS has increased in the past several years as more women undergo mammogram screenings, according to the National Institutes of Health. The national surgical project at AGH is conducting three trials to examine better treatments for DCIS.
"It's hard to figure out which DCIS will stay dormant, and which will go on to invasive breast cancer," Julian said. "People are struggling to figure out how to better treat women to prevent them from having a bad outcome."
The study, however, justifies treatments involving radiation, the drug tamoxifen, or a combination of the two, Julian said. Radiation after lumpectomy reduced the incidence of a dangerous cancer recurrence by 52 percent, compared to women who had only a lumpectomy. Women with estrogen receptor positive DCIS who added tamoxifen to their treatment cut their risk by 32 percent, compared to those who got lumpectomy and radiation only.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- No caddy needed in FootGolf
- Tips to make growing old take a little longer
- Kayaks overtake canoes as paddlers’ choice in Western Pa.