Breast cancer patients with kids more likely to forgo radiation
Women with at least one child age 7 or younger may be less likely to receive radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery — a potentially lifesaving treatment — compared to women with older children or without children, according to a new study.
Study researchers used a nationwide database of more than 21,000 women ages 20 to 64 with health insurance who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and underwent breast conserving surgery between January 2004 and December 2009 to see how many received radiation therapy post-surgery.
Although younger women have the most to gain from radiation, the study found that women under age 50 were less likely than older women to undergo radiation after surgery. Women with at least one child younger than age 7 were also less likely to undergo radiation therapy compared with women who have older or no children, the study found.
BOTTOM LINE: Women with at least one child age 7 or younger may be less likely to receive radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery compared to women with older children or without children.
CAUTIONS: The study relied on some anecdotes from women to find out why they did not receive radiation. They did not look at other factors of forgoing radiation therapy, such as a woman’s cancer grade or distance to care.
WHERE TO FIND IT: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dec. 24
Therapy may reduce headache frequency
in some children
Cognitive behavioral therapy may help reduce the frequency of migraines in some children, a new study by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital found.
Up to 69 percent of children who seek care in headache specialty clinics are diagnosed with chronic migraines, according to the study.
For the study, researchers assigned more than 100 children ages 10 to 17 who were diagnosed with chronic migraines to receive antidepressant medication and 10 sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy or the same antidepressant medication and 10 sessions of headache education.
Cognitive behavioral therapy was nearly twice as effective as headache education in reducing the average number of days children reported having a migraine, the study found.
At the start of the study, the children averaged migraines on 21 out of the 28 days they were assessed. By the end of study, those who received cognitive therapy reported on average about 11 fewer headache days, while those who received headache education only reported about seven fewer days of headaches.
BOTTOM LINE: Cognitive behavioral therapy may help reduce the frequency of migraines in some children.
CAUTIONS: The study did not include a group that looked at the effect of cognitive behavioral therapy without the use of antidepressants. Because of the small number of study participants, the findings may not apply to a wider group.
WHERE TO FIND IT: JAMA, Dec. 25