A new study conducted by researchers from Yale School of Medicine found that the breast cancer treatment brachytherapy, which is known for fewer complications, actually causes more issues over the next year when compared to whole-breast radiation.
The researchers studied 30,000 women with breast cancer who were covered by Medicare and found that those who had brachytherapy had a 16.9 percent increase in risk wound and skin complications a year after the therapy.
"This treatment method seems ideal in theory, but we found it concerning that such an important clinical decision that affects so many women was being made on the basis of theory, rather than scientific evidence," said the study's lead author Dr. Cary P. Gross. "Despite the absence of large randomized controlled trials comparing these two treatments, brachytherapy has become increasingly popular, in part because of a theoretically lower rate of complications."
New therapy methods are important for breast cancer patients, who have to rely on home health care when getting cancer treatments. According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. suffers from breast cancer at some point during her lifetime.
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