Radiation Therapy ‘Less Scary’ Than Expected, Breast Cancer Patients Agree in Survey

Radiation Therapy ‘Less Scary’ Than Expected, Breast Cancer Patients Agree in Survey
Misconceptions and fears that many breast cancer patients facing radiation therapy have are typically not realized because of modern techniques, researchers report. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of patients surveyed for this study — comparing pretreatment beliefs with experiences — agreed that initial negative impressions were unfounded. These findings, published in CANCER, a scientific journal of the American Cancer Society, are in the article,  “The Patient’s Perspective on Breast Radiotherapy: Initial Fears and Expectations Versus Reality.” Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles are used to eliminate cancer cells,and may be used before or after surgery or as primary treatment alone. Significant advances over the past two decades allow clinicians using the therapy to spare other organs, to create an individual plan for each patient, and to deliver treatment on more convenient schedules. The researchers, led by scientists at the University of California Los Angeles, surveyed 502 patients treated for breast cancer between 2012 and 2016. "We wanted to look at the patients' perspective of the breast cancer radiation experience, to have tangible real-world data to guide future patients and providers in their decision making," Narek Shaverdian, MD, a study co-author, said in a
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