Study shows radiation still used in elderly patients even though not advised
Mar 6, 2012
A new study conducted by researchers from Yale School of Medicine found that even though a large clinical trial discovered radiation does not help older breast cancer patients, doctors are still putting the elderly patients through it.
The researchers found this by seeing there was very little change when it came to the use of radiation among older women who are in the Medicare program.
"We were surprised by these results," said lead author Dr. Cary P. Gross, associate professor of internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine. "Clinical trials are considered the gold standard of medical research and in this case the trial was influential enough to lead to a change in treatment guidelines. We expected it to have more of an impact on clinical care at the bedside."
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. Not only is it the second most common form of cancer among women behind skin cancer, but it is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death among women, following only lung cancer.