Study: Doctors, Breast Cancer Patients Seem To Ignore Radiation Treatment Data

Dec 8, 2014

A study shows that doctors don't seem to be heeding the findings of a trial that shows expensive, taxing radiation treatment does little good for elderly low-risk breast cancer patients after operations.
Credit jasleen_kaur / Flickr/Creative Commons

Duke Medicine research shows that most elderly, low risk breast cancer patients receive radiation therapy after surgery. That's despite evidence that the costly and physically-taxing treatment isn't very effective with that group.

Radiation Oncologist Rachel Blitzblau authored the new study.

She says some doctors might be skeptical of the data, but patients might also push to get the treatment anyway.

“It's an important area for us to think about in terms of, how are we treating our patients, and what do they understand about what tools we're using to make our decisions.”

Blitzblau says she hopes that will lead to better care.