ABC World News (8/20, story 5, 0:25, Muir) reported that research suggests “that aggressive treatment for what some doctors say is the earliest stage of” breast cancer “may not be necessary to save lives.”
The AP (8/21) reports that for the study, published online in JAMA Oncology, investigators “analyzed U.S. government data on more than 100,000 women diagnosed from 1988 to 2011 with DCIS — ductal carcinoma in situ.”
TIME (8/21, Park) reports that “overall a diagnosis of DCIS was associated with a higher risk — 3% — of dying of breast cancer in 20 years compared to women who didn’t have the cancer,” with the risk being “highest for younger women (diagnosed before age 35) and for black women.” However, “when the researchers looked more carefully at the women with DCIS, their rates of breast cancer recurrence and their death rates, they found that those getting surgery and radiation or just surgery did indeed lower their risk of getting a recurrent cancer, but did not reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer.”
On its front page, the Washington Post (8/21, Johnson, Cha) reports that these “findings add to concerns that the ability to detect these lesions through mammograms may be leading to unnecessary mastectomies.”
The Houston Chronicle (8/7, Ackerman) reports that research published in JAMA Oncology suggests that “women with early stage breast cancer are better off with a shorter, more powerful course of radiation therapy.” Investigators “found that patients who received higher doses of whole breast radiation over four weeks experienced fewer side effects and a better quality of life compared to those who received lower doses over six weeks.”
HealthDay (8/7, Preidt) reports that physicians “should use this higher-dose approach – called hypofractionated whole breast irradiation – as a starting point when discussing treatment options with breast cancer patients...said” the investigators.
MedPage Today (8/7, Bankhead) reports that “the authors of an accompanying editorial said ‘the mounting evidence supporting hypofractionation can no longer be ignored.’” Medscape (8/7, Castellino) also covers the story.