Quicker Therapy Just as Good for Breast Cancer

Intensive radiation for 3 weeks or less works well in 12-year study
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2008 9:00 PM CDT
A Canadian study showed that short-term breast cancer therapy keeps cancer at bay as well as regular treatment.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Intensive, short-term radiation therapy battles breast cancer as well as the usual longer treatment, Canadian researchers said today. Their study of 1,200 women showed that after 12 years, 1 to 3 weeks of daily treatment kept cancer at bay slightly better than 5 to 7 weeks of the more common therapy, Reuters reports.

"We were surprised that the risk of local recurrence and side effects for women treated with accelerated whole breast irradiation was so low even at 12 years," one scientist said. Another study revealed today showed that women who undergo tumor removal can have radioactive "seeds" implanted instead of getting regular treatment. The method is convenient for women who live far from a radiation center, one doctor said.