18 November 2022

In response to research presented at the 13th European Breast Cancer Conference about radiotherapy and long-term survival,  Dr Kotryna Temcinaite, Senior Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“For many women, the prospect of breast cancer returning and having to undergo further treatment is hugely worrying so it’s brilliant this research supports what we already know about radiotherapy reducing the likelihood of the disease recurring in the same place.

“While serious side effects from radiotherapy are very rare, for a small number of people radiotherapy could increase their risk of heart problems later in life, because of underlying health issues or the way radiotherapy needs to be targeted to best treat the cancer. Further research is needed to fully understand which patients are more at risk of breast cancer returning to the same place in the first few years after treatment. If this is possible there’s the potential for radiotherapy to be used more selectively in the future.

“We encourage patients to speak to their clinical team about their treatment options and they can also speak to our expert nurses by calling our free, confidential Helpline on 0808 800 6000.”