Breast cancer treatment in older women

Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) plus radiotherapy is the standard-of-care for women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. For women over age 70, however, radiotherapy after BCS is controversial, and U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network clinical practice guidelines recommend that it may be omitted. 

To explore the influence of radiotherapy on survival of patients in routine clinical practice, the research team of Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, MPH, analyzed data in the National Cancer Database from 115,516 women 70 or older treated with BCS for early-stage breast cancer.