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Study: Shorter radiation cycles effective in breast cancer treatment

Because time and comfort can mean so much to breast cancer patients, researchers are out to determine just how much radiation therapy is enough to help women in their fight against the disease.

In a new development in breast cancer treatment, Canadian researchers have found that an intense three-week cycle of radiation therapy can be just as safe and effective as the five week treatment method that has become the standard in many hospitals and clinics, CTV Toronto reports.

Currently, most women diagnosed with breast cancer elect to undergo surgery, which is often followed by chemotherapy or hormone therapy and then by radiation.

Lead researcher Dr Time Whelan told the news source, "Treatments are so long for some women that they try to avoid radiation. They may even consider a mastectomy to avoid radiation after breast-conserving surgery."

The study, which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that the shorter radiation time could make these challenging treatments more agreeable to women.

According to the National Cancer Institute, targeted drug therapy and the sentinel lymph node biopsy are other treatment options for breast cancer patients.
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