Breast Radiation After Lumpectomy: Partial or Whole?
Recently, the findings of the new analysis from a phase III clinical trial were presented at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO). According to which, Whole breast radiation and partial breast radiation following a lumpectomy yield similar cosmetic outcomes for women diagnosed with early stages of cancer who wish to preserve their breasts.

Women diagnosed with early stages of cancer (stage 2 or earlier) who undergo lumpectomies typically follow their surgery with radiation therapy to lower the risk of having the cancer return. Partial breast radiation can be an appealing treatment option, because the radiation is delivered over several days to a smaller area around the surgical site instead of 3 to 4 weeks to the entire breast.

'Partial breast radiation is a good choice. That's what I'm going to say to certain subsets of my patients' said Julia White, MD, FASTRO, professor of radiation oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead author. It was found that whether the women received whole breast radiation or partial breast radiation, there was an equivalent cosmetic outcome from the patients' perspective. This pattern held whether the patient also received chemotherapy as well as radiation and lumpectomy.

In addition, patients' satisfaction with their treatment and cosmetic outcome were equivalent for whole breast and partial breast radiation.