Although nearly half of breast cancers are diagnosed in women age 65 and older, the importance of radiation therapy (RT) after conservative surgery remains controversial for women in this age group.
A team of researchers has developed a clinically useful tool to predict the likelihood of long-term breast preservation with and without RT.
The tool, known as a “nomogram,” gives scores to factors predictive of mastectomy, such as age, race, tumor size, estrogen receptor status (positive or negative), and receipt of RT to calculate a weighted total score useful for predicting 5- and 10-year mastectomy-free survival.
The researchers believe that since indications for RT remain unclear and continue to be debated for older patients, their clinical tool will be useful to patients and physicians when evaluating adjuvant treatment options.
The nomogram is publically available on The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Website.
For more info see Albert et al. (2012). Nomogram to predict the benefit of radiation for older patients with breast cancer treated with conservative surgery. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 30(23), 2837-2843.