A new study has found that older women with early stage one breast cancer can skip radiation therapy and go right to taking a medication that helps prevent the disease from returning, reports Reuters
Women diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, the easiest form to cure, usually undergo a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatment and then start taking the medication tamoxifen. Researchers revealed that women aged 70 and older can immediately begin taking the medication.
"This study confirms that for older women with early stage breast cancer, lumpectomy without radiation is a viable alternative, and tamoxifen may replace the need for radiation," said Dr Kevin Hughes
The research was conducted over a 12 year period monitoring 636 women. Experts found that radiation only had relatively small benefits in the breast cancer cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer, behind skin cancer, to affect American women. Over 190,000 women were diagnosed with the disease in 2006.