Traditional surgery appears to save lives better than radiosurgery, even though it’s more invasive, when treating early-stage non-small cell lung cancer, according to Yale University.
A study of 1,078 lung cancer patients’ Medicare billing records showed this to be true even considering the risks of regular surgery.
“What was dramatic to me was the relatively high rate of complications and death among surgical patients in the first three months compared with how much better they did than radiosurgery patients after 12 months,” said first author Dr. James B. Yu, in a release. Yu is assistant professor of therapeutic radiology at Yale School of Medicine and a member of Yale Cancer Center.
“While surgery may be associated with infections and complications in the short term, it appears that patients healthy enough to undergo surgery live longer,” Yu said.
The study compared patients who were at least 67 years old and underwent surgery or radiosurgery (stereotactic body radiotherapy). The research will be presented to the American Society for Radiation Oncology in San Francisco, the release said.
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