In a nutshell
This study investigated the factors that can lead to complications after breast-conserving surgery (BCS) and intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT).
BCS removes the breast cancer but not the breast itself. IORT may be used during BCS. If cancer returns it is usually near the site of the original tumor. IORT delivers radiation to the site where the tumor was removed. Radiation is delivered via an applicator that is matched to the size of the surgical site.
The outcomes and risks of complications following BCS and IORT are still under investigation.
Methods & findings
This study recruited 113 women who were undergoing BCS and IORT. All women had stage 1, estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer and were over 50 years of age. Patients were followed for an average of 40.3 months.
1 patient had a recurrence of cancer in the same breast. Nine patients (7.7%) had wound complications, such as infection or opening of the surgical incision. Two patients (1.7%) had fat necrosis (a lump caused by the death of cells in a fatty area of the breast).
The size of the applicator was associated with complications after surgery. More complications were found in patients where larger applicators had been used.
The bottom line
This study concluded that BCS and IORT is generally a safe and effective treatment for certain patients with breast cancer. However, larger applicator sizes were associated with more negative effects.
The fine print
This study was performed on a small group of select patients. As such, the results may not be applicable to all patients.
Discuss the use and safety of IORT with your physician if you are considering BCS.
Published By :
Annals of Surgical Oncology
Nov 16, 2016
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