Breast Irradiation in the Older Woman: A Toxicity Study

Jennifer Wyckoff, Harvey Greenberg, Roger Sanderson, Paul Wallach, Lodovico Balducci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective: To establish the tolerance of breast irradiation by women aged 65 and older. Design: Retrospective chart review. Patients and Setting: Women undergoing partial mastectomy and postoperative radiation therapy at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute between 1986 and 1990. Of 163 women eligible for the study, 100 were under age 65, and 63 were aged 65–78. Measurements: Comparison of total treatment dose, treatment duration, number of treatment interruptions, incidence of cutaneous, mucosal, and hematological toxicity between women aged 65 and older and women younger than age 65. Main Results: All study measurements were comparable among younger and older women: total radiation dose (P = 0.5); treatment interruptions (P = 0.063); treatment duration (P = 0.78); cutaneous toxicity (P = 0.37); anemia (P = 0.83); leukopenia (P = 0.07), and thrombocytopenia (P = 0.94). There was no mucosal toxicity, nor higher than grade 2 hematological or cutaneous toxicity. The incidence and severity of toxicity was not higher for women aged 70 and older. Conclusions: Postoperative breast irradiation is well tolerated by older women. Age is not a contraindication to breast preservation. 1994 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-152
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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