SAN ANOTONIO-TEXAS New research casts doubt on a radiation treatment for breast cancer that is shorter but only reaches part of the breast.
Medicare records show that women who had the partial radiation were twice as likely to need the whole breast removed later because the cancer came back.
The shorter treatment uses radioactive pellets briefly placed in the breast instead of radiation beamed from a machine. At least 13 percent of older patients in the U.S. get this now, and it is popular with working women. Results of the study were to be reported Wednesday at a breast cancer conference in San Antonio.