Bekelman and Emanuel - Unnecessary Radiation Treatments
|Justin Bekelman (top) and Ezekiel Emanuel|
treatments over a longer period of time than may be required for their conditions.
The study notes that most women are getting five to seven weeks of radiation when the latest studies and expert guidelines endorse a higher-dose treatment usually delivered over three weeks.
160,000 women annually
In its article, the Times reports that a total of between 140,000 to 160,000 women with breast cancer have lumpectomies each year. The unnecessary weeks of radiation significantly increase costs for the health care system and insurers at the same time they prolong the life disruption for the patients.
Bekelman, MD, is an Assistant Professor of both Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Radiation Oncology at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, and an LDI Senior Fellow. Emanuel, PhD, MD, MSc, is Penn's Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, an LDI Senior Fellow, and an oncologist.