Dr. Kubicky on the Optimal Use of Radiation in Patients With Breast Cancer

Charlotte Kubicky, MD, PhD
Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018



Charlotte Kubicky, MD, PhD, associate professor of radiation medicine, School of Medicine, medical director, Tuality Oregon Health and Science Cancer Center, Oregon Health and Science University, discusses the optimal use of radiation in the treatment of patients with breast cancer.

There has been controversy in the use of radiation in patients with breast cancer. The controversy in the upfront setting, Kubicky says, comes from concerns of overtreatment. Physicians know that approximately half of patients who are found to have a positive lymph node in the upfront setting never develop axillary recurrence. This may be a result of the systemic therapy a patient received, says Kubicky.

For those patients who develop locoregional recurrence in the axilla, it can cause devastating complications. The surgeries are much more extensive, says Kubicky, and adding radiation on top of that can cause increased toxicity and morbidity. It is a matter of finding the right balance of radiation for each patient.


Charlotte Kubicky, MD, PhD, associate professor of radiation medicine, School of Medicine, medical director, Tuality Oregon Health and Science Cancer Center, Oregon Health and Science University, discusses the optimal use of radiation in the treatment of patients with breast cancer.

There has been controversy in the use of radiation in patients with breast cancer. The controversy in the upfront setting, Kubicky says, comes from concerns of overtreatment. Physicians know that approximately half of patients who are found to have a positive lymph node in the upfront setting never develop axillary recurrence. This may be a result of the systemic therapy a patient received, says Kubicky.

For those patients who develop locoregional recurrence in the axilla, it can cause devastating complications. The surgeries are much more extensive, says Kubicky, and adding radiation on top of that can cause increased toxicity and morbidity. It is a matter of finding the right balance of radiation for each patient.

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