Radiation Therapy Schools
February 8, 2012 by staff
Radiation Therapy Schools, Breast cancer is often considered more deadly among younger women, but a new study shows older women are actually more likely to die of the disease.
Researchers found that among women who had been diagnosed with a certain type of breast cancer, those over 75 years old were 63 percent more likely to die of the cancer than women younger than 65.
“I suspect it’s undertreatment,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, one of the authors of the study and the medical director at US Oncology Research in Texas. “We did show the rates of chemotherapy and radiation therapy are less in the older group.”
Jones and his colleagues tracked nearly 10,000 women who had already gone through menopause and who had been diagnosed with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.
That is the most common type of the disease, and it is considered less dangerous than the hormone receptor-negative types because it is often slower growing and might respond to hormone treatments.
Younger women are more likely than older women to have the receptor-negative cancer and they also tend to get diagnosed at a later stage, leading to the idea that breast cancer is more deadly for them.
In this study, the researchers found that five out of every 100 women who were diagnosed under age 65 and six out of every 100 women diagnosed between 65 and 74 years old died from breast cancer within five years.
Among women over age 75 at the time of their diagnosis, eight out of every 100 died from the cancer.
The team isn’t sure how to account for the gap, but Dr. Hyman Muss of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, agreed with Jones.
“What’s different in older women is they tend to get lesser and poorer treatment,” said Muss, who was not involved in the new study.
About one in eight American women will get breast cancer at some point in their life, but less than a fourth of them will die from it.
Breast cancer can be treated with a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal medications.
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