Is Breast Conserving Therapy or Mastectomy Better for Early Breast Cancer?

Excerpt:

“Young women with early breast cancer face a difficult choice about whether to opt for a mastectomy or breast conserving therapy (BCT). This is because there is little evidence as to whether the greater risk of a return of the disease at the site of the original tumour after BCT is linked to a greater risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body, leading to higher death rates.

“Now, new research presented at the ESTRO 35 conference today (Saturday) has shown women aged younger than 45 years, who had early stage breast cancer that had not spread to the lymph nodes and who opted for BCT with radiation therapy, had a 13% higher risk of developing a local recurrence of their disease over a 20-year period than women who had a mastectomy and no radiation therapy. Furthermore, local recurrence doubled the risk of the cancer spreading elsewhere in the body (metastasis) and the risk of death was approximately two-thirds higher for BCT patients compared to mastectomy patients.”

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Brachytherapy Helps Maintain Erectile Function in Prostate Cancer Patients Without Compromising Treatment Outcomes

“The use of permanent brachytherapy, a procedure where radioactive sources are placed inside the prostate, into or near to the tumour, preserves erectile function in approximately 50% of patients with prostate cancer, a researcher will tell the ESTRO 33 congress today (Saturday).

“Brachytherapy works by giving a high dose of radiotherapy directly to the tumour, but only a very low dose to the surrounding normal tissues. Since erectile dysfunction (ED) can occur in up to 68% of patients who receive external beam radiotherapy for the condition, this is a significant improvement and the treatment should be offered to all patients, particularly those who are sexually active, the researchers say.”