Wednesday, December 10, 2014

BREAST CANCER - DCIS and. . . . new study: Does radiation prolong life

NPR Shots on the 9th published a new article on the Duke radiation studies.

                       Doctors Are Slow To Adopt Changes in Breast Cancer Treatment.

A Duke study in 2004 had indicated that radiation, for women over 70 with early-stage breast cancer, did not improve the mortality rate. They did not live longer.

NPR, in referring back to that study uses the word "chemotherapy."  Do they mean also adjuvant therapy like Tamoxifen?  Or what we typically call "chemo" now?

Why do I care?

I am in the over-70 age group.  
My DCIS was radiated, and I am on adjuvant therapy (Tamoxifen).  
No one mentioned "chemo" to me.
I took the Sloan-Kettering (MSK) interactive nomogram:
It only predicted DCIS recurrence, not years of survival.   

NPR then quotes a new Duke study and article announcing very little difference since 1994 in percentage of doctors radiating patients with these cancers,  Are there new reasons for radiating now?  Are they radiating women who before 2004 would have had chemo?  Are the odds of survival without radiation just too unclear and too hard to calculate?

This has been written and debated on the web lately:  Nobody wants to make a mistake by telling someone to wait and see.  And probably no one wants to be the one who says forget radiation - just in case.

Why did I get radiation?

My surgeon said after surgery that I didn't have to do anything.  
But he recommended I at least meet a certain radiation oncologist.
Said she wouldn't give me radiation unless I needed it.    
She overwhelmed me with statistics.
My pathology report made me fear recurrence

I need to learn more about the 2004 study (chemo or not) and the new one..

Please::  Send in your research, experience, or reactions as comments.

I wish you health.

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