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Friday, August 12, 2022

A study led by a UF researcher has found that one breast cancer radiation treatment is better than the others.

The study of three radiation therapies for early-stage breast cancer shows that the treatment, known as hypofractionated whole breast irradiation, or HF-WBI, is the most effective based on quality of life, life expectancy and saving health care dollars.

Ashish A. Deshmukh, the lead author of the study and a UF assistant professor in the College of Public Health and Health Professions, said he and his team have worked on the study for almost two years.

“We decided to see which therapy is the most optimum one,” Deshmukh said. “We found that hypofractionated is not only effective in quality of life among women, but it also saves money.”

In the study, researchers created a comprehensive model of early-stage breast cancer radiation therapy where they used samples of health outcome data from the three radiation treatments.

Researchers also calculated all costs from each radiation treatment, including patients’ travel costs and lost income from missing work.

“The treatment saves $3,000 per woman every year,” Deshmukh said, adding that the treatment is also shorter than the conventional radiation treatment by about two weeks.

Even though HF-WBI has shown to be effective, health providers are slow to adopt the treatment.

Denise L. Henault, a 50-year-old Alachua County resident and breast cancer survivor of five years, said this is her first time hearing about the treatment.

Although she did not have early-stage breast cancer, she said reducing the treatment time of patients is great because they have to drive to get therapy every day.

“I think anytime there is an option for a treatment that is less invasive, it is always a plus,” she said. “Had I been in the situation where I had this option, I would have definitely tried it.”

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