Better understanding of radiation therapy in the treatment of breast cancer

To help patients understand the importance of radiation therapy in the treatment of breast cancer, the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology has published the new patient information brochure Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer: A Patient’s Guide to Understanding Treatment.

“Being a breast cancer specialist, I know first hand how a diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming and confusing for patients and their families,” said Francine Halberg, M.D., Chair of the ASTRO Communications Committee and a radiation oncologist at Marin Cancer Institute in Greenbrae, Calif. “There have been so many advances in breast cancer radiation therapy that there simply isn’t enough accurate information on the treatment options available to patients. We hope this brochure will allow breast cancer patients to better understand the importance of radiation therapy in the treatment of their cancer.”

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among American women, according to the American Cancer Society, with nearly 40,000 women succumbing to the disease on a yearly basis. While nearly 216,000 women and 1,500 men will learn that they have breast cancer in 2004, many are not aware that radiation therapy is a cornerstone of breast cancer treatment.

ASTRO has taken the initiative in developing an up-to-date brochure that patients can use to talk with their healthcare providers when contemplating radiation therapy following a lumpectomy or a mastectomy. The brochure also helps patients find support groups and information on clinical trials.

Patients and patient advocacy organizations can request free copies of the brochure by contacting Beth Bukataat 1-800-962-7876 or [email protected]. The brochure can also be viewed online at www.astro.org/patient/. To learn more about radiation therapy or ASTRO’s 46th Annual Scientific Meeting, scheduled for October 3-7, 2004, in Atlanta, please visit www.astro.org.

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