Researchers Note Postmastectomy Radiation Should be Given to N2/N3 Breast Cancer Patients

Researchers Note Postmastectomy Radiation Should be Given to N2/N3 Breast Cancer Patients
A recent study entitled “Postmastectomy Radiation for N2/N3 Breast Cancer: Factors Associated with Low Compliance Rate” was published on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons by Dr. Quyen D. Chu from the Departments of Surgery and Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA along with colleagues. The research team found that only 65% of women that underwent a mastectomy were receiving the recommended post mastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT). Breast cancer patients should undergo radiation therapy after being submitted to a mastectomy if their tumor has extended to 4 or more close lymph nodes. Previous studies have shown that postmastectomy radiation (PMRT) decreased the risk of breast tumor reappearance and improved survival in patients with tumor stage of N2, with 4 to 9 axillary lymph nodes but no other organs, or N3, with 10 or more axillary lymph nodes, according to AJCC staging system. For the last 15 years, The National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Clinical Oncology have recommended PMRT in addition to chemotherapy for the majority of breast cancer patients that underwent mastectomy and have increased risk of tumor reappearance in the same body area. This includes women with more than 4 positive lymph nodes for cancer with exceptions for women who already had radiation therapy or have connective tissue disorders. In this study, the investigators analyzed the conformity with the therapy guidelines using the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). They found 56,990 cases of women with N2 or N3 cancer among the 2.72 million breast cancer cases identified in the period between 1998 and 2011. The researchers evaluated these cases to establish factors associated to receipt of PMRT.
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