MIAMI – The trend over time to use less invasive surgery for breast cancer – from radical mastectomy to radical modified mastectomy to simplified mastectomy to lumpectomy – should extend now radiation therapy in older women with stage I disease, “and not give it unless it’s absolutely needed,” Dr. Kevin Hughes said at the annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference, held by Physicians’ Education Resource.
In fact, in most instances, these older women should receive lumpectomy without radiation, said Dr. Hughes of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Three major trials that looked at stage I cancer in women over 50, 65, or 70 years of age reached the same conclusion: that radiation adds little benefit to overall treatment.
Dr. Hughes also said oncologists with genomic information on a specific cancer can also choose to more judiciously order radiation treatment, particularly with luminal A and, possibly, luminal B cancers.
Dr. Hughes had no relevant financial disclosures.