A new study,
which was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, found that those who undergo a quicker form of radiation that is centralized on a certain section of the breast are twice as likely to have the breast removed later in life than those who receive radiation on their whole breast.
"Our study compared the two radiation therapy techniques available to women with early-stage breast cancer. We found that women treated with accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy have a two-fold increased risk for subsequent mastectomy, most likely because of tumor recurrence or local complications, as well as an increased risk for post-operative and radiation-related complications," said Dr. Benjamin Smith, the study's senior author.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during her lifetime. Not only is it the second most common form of cancer among women behind skin cancer, but it also the second leading cause cancer-related death among women, following lung cancer.