Radiotherapy as sole adjuvant treatment for older patients with low-risk breast cancer

G. A. Walker, O. Kaidar-Person, A. Kuten, D. A.L. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Partly as a result of screening, increasing numbers of older patients are presenting with 'low risk' breast cancer: tumours from which the likelihood of breast cancer death is minute; even so, these patients have a measurable risk of local recurrence if conservative surgery is not followed by some form of adjuvant treatment. However, it must be acknowledged that any such treatment has no detectable impact upon survival, and the value of all such interventions must be considered in the context of the individual patient's non-cancer life expectancy and the complex psychosocial factors that affect older patients.If no impact on survival can be expected and the risk of local recurrence is high enough to warrant some post-operative treatment, the most powerful agent in this respect is radiotherapy. Whilst adjuvant endocrine treatment is becoming increasingly accepted as monotherapy in low risk patients, we propose that radiotherapy should not be forgotten as an alternative which, with its attendant benefits of shorter duration and high compliance, may be more suitable for a number of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-634
Number of pages6
JournalBreast
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Breast cancer
  • Endocrine therapy
  • Low risk
  • Radiotherapy

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