Study Shows Promise with Higher Treatment Doses and Shorter Schedule

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A recent study published in The Lancet Oncology Sept. 19 found that higher amounts of treatment for a shorter period of time could prove to be more beneficial to women with breast cancer. According to CBS News, a shorter treatment with higher doses, or hypofractionated radiation, is less damaging and safer than lower doses of treatment spread across a longer time frame.

“These 10-year results reassure us that three weeks of radiotherapy is as good as the five weeks still used in many countries, with less damage to nearby healthy tissue, as well as being more convenient for women (shorter waiting lists and fewer hospital trips) and cheaper for health services,” John Yarnold, lead study author from the Institute of Cancer Research, said in a statement.

The study followed 4,451 women from 35 radiotherapy centers in the United Kingdom between 1999 and 2002. The participants were split into two groups, and while the rate of local-regional relapse was fairly consistent across the board, the group that had the shorter schedule had far less damage to healthy tissue.

While its uncertain if other countries will change their current standards, it’s possible that these results can lead to further investigation into the effects of radiotherapy on the body.

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