Lung Cancer : radiation therapy is less dangerous than surgery, especially after 80 years

Health 22 January, 2018


Published the 22.01.2018 at 19h44


Keywords :

cancer poumonradiothérapiechirurgie

Nearly 30 000 people die each year from lung cancer. It is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
To treat this type of cancer at an early stage, it is necessary either to operate or perform radiation therapy. Researchers in the us have shown that the targeted radiation therapy is less dangerous for the elderly.

A greater difference from 80 years ago

The study was conducted at the hospital of the university of Colorado, and the results have been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers relied on data from nearly 85,000 patients.
2.1% of patients treated with surgery died in the months that followed the operation. This rate was 0.7% for patients treated with radiotherapy. The gap widens as the patients get older.
For those aged 80 years or more, the mortality rate was 3.9% for patients treated by surgery, and 0.9% for patients treated with radiation therapy.

A solution for patients at risk

In the United States, the treatment by surgery is the most recommended to treat localised cancers. Targeted radiotherapy is an option emerging, but not yet widespread. For Chad G. Rusthoven, the lead author of the study : “in patients with lung cancer at an early stage, and who are otherwise in good health, and good candidates for surgery, ablation lobar remains the standard treatment. Nevertheless, the results of the study are important to take into account in the case of a discussion on treatment options in patients who have high risk of surgical complications. “

According to a report from the national cancer Institute, in France, lung cancer has been an improvement in its survival rates more low in comparison to other cancers. This rate amounted to 17% in 2016.