Partial Breast Radiation
I am increasingly asked about partial breast radiation for newly diagnosed women. This is a treatment choice that is sometimes available and appropriate. Here is a statement from ASTRO (American Society of Therapeutic Radiology):
Catching up with what is happening in clinical practice and citing the "markedly increased" use of accelerated partial-breast irradiation (APBI), the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) has issued its first-ever consensus statement on this therapeutic approach to breast cancer.
The statement was published in the July 15 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics.
The statement, which comes from an ASTRO task force and is not as authoritative as a set of guidelines, includes a strong focus on patient selection.
Conservative patient-selection criteria for APBI should be followed.
"Conservative patient-selection criteria for APBI should be followed," write the consensus-statement authors, led by Benjamin Smith, MD, from Wilford Hall Medical Center at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
Patients are "suitable" for APBI if all of a long list of criteria are met, according to consensus statement.
The ASTRO criteria for suitable patients include age 60 years or older, a tumor size of 2 cm or less, tumor stage T1, negative margins of at least 2 mm, pathologically negative nodes, positive estrogen-receptor status, an absence of lymphovascular space invasion, and no multicentricity. Patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are excluded.
Clearly, this is an "Ask your doctor about it" situation if you think you might be eligible. If you want to read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/706216_print