Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Florida's Approach To Breast Cancer Boosts Patient Survival Rates

Date:
March 31, 1997
Source:
University of Florida Health Science Center
Summary:
At issue: How extensive should radiation therapy after mastectomy be to prevent cancer from recurring and spreading?

By Victoria White

Related Articles


GAINESVILLE, Fla.---For the past decade, University of Florida radiation oncologists have differed with many breast cancer specialists regarding treatment for women who have undergone mastectomies. But recent large-scale studies in Denmark and Canada show UF's approach may be linked to better long-term survival rates.

At issue: How extensive should radiation therapy after mastectomy be to prevent cancer from recurring and spreading?

The question is critical, since the spread of cancer cells through the body is largely to blame for the more than 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths in the United States.

Physicians at the UF Shands Cancer Center have assumed that all sites in the breast and nearby lymph tissue where cancer cells might lurk must be radiated.

They reasoned this approach might reduce the risk of cancer cells spreading to distant areas, such as the brain or liver. The risk of death, therefore, also would be lowered. But many other physicians use radiation only in easy-to-target areas and where cancer commonly reappears.

"Research done in the 1960s and 1970s seemed to show that cancer cells spread despite local and regional radiation," said Dr. Nancy Mendenhall, professor and chairwoman of the department of radiation oncology at UF's College of Medicine .

"Many physicians thought this meant that cancer spread always occurs early and thus cannot be affected by subsequent radiation. Consequently, many radiation oncologists used radiation only for the limited purpose of controlling the cancer right in the breast region," Mendenhall said. UF physicians, however, "thought the radiation in those old clinical trials may not have covered all the sites in the breast and lymphatic region where cancer cells might be present," said Mendenhall. "If all the sites at risk were not irradiated, cancer cells could have continued to thrive and spread throughout the body.

"Those old trials were done before we had CT scanning available. Such computerized X-ray imaging documents more disease in the breast region than physical examinations and can help us target the radiation better. For these reasons, we have always attempted to treat all areas at risk."

The new data reported by the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group and the British Columbia Cancer Agency in Canada strongly back UF's interpretation and treatment philosophy. The studies, which tracked thousands of patients for more than eight years, showed cancer spread sometimes can be curtailed with thorough local and regional radiation. Such an approach improves the survival rates of breast cancer patients between 7 and 10 percent.

"Unquestionably we have been in the minority with our position on radiation treatment," Mendenhall said. "But I think we're going to see a change in attitude among other physicians based on these studies."

Mendenhall plans to publish UF's patient survival data this summer in the 2nd edition of the book, The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases. The book's editors are Dr. Kirby Bland, former associate chairman of UF's department of surgery, and Dr. Edward M. Copeland III, chairman of surgery and interim dean of the College of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Florida Health Science Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Florida Health Science Center. "University Of Florida's Approach To Breast Cancer Boosts Patient Survival Rates." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 March 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/03/970331124744.htm>.
University of Florida Health Science Center. (1997, March 31). University Of Florida's Approach To Breast Cancer Boosts Patient Survival Rates. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/03/970331124744.htm
University of Florida Health Science Center. "University Of Florida's Approach To Breast Cancer Boosts Patient Survival Rates." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/03/970331124744.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins