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Factors Increasing Risk of Dermatitis Following Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine(TM), Risk Factors for the Development of Acute Radiation Dermatitis in Breast Cancer Patients

Understanding when these risk factors affect the development of acute dermatitis may help physicians to counsel the patients who are more likely to develop these skin toxicities”
— Jennifer Parker, MD, PhD
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES, January 3, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States. Radiation therapy following surgical tumor removal has become an extremely popular and common approach to treatment in order to avoid complete mastectomy. Although beneficial in preventing recurrence, radiation treatment is not without side effects, with up to 90% of patients developing skin reactions—such as redness, dryness, and ulceration—that can lead to poor cosmetic outcomes and reduced quality of life.

A new article published today in SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous MedicineTM examines which patient and treatment characteristics increase the risk of post-treatment radiation dermatitis in breast cancer patients.

Jennifer Parker, MD, PhD, and coauthors at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine examined the records of 320 breast cancer patients treated with post-operative radiation therapy. Using a multivariable logistic regression model, the authors found that increased Body Mass Index (BMI) and higher total dose of radiation increased the risk of dermatitis, while the use of hypofractionated radiation decreased the risk of more severe skin injury.

“Understanding when these risk factors affect the development of acute dermatitis may help physicians to counsel the patients who are more likely to develop these skin toxicities,” report Parker and colleagues, who also caution that physicians should carefully examine their treatment approach in order to help minimize severe skin reactions that could ultimately lead to worse long-term cosmetic outcomes, including skin discoloration and scarring.

SKIN: The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine(TM) is a peer-reviewed online medical journal that is the official journal of The National Society for Cutaneous Medicine. The mission of SKIN is to provide an enhanced and accelerated route to disseminate new dermatologic knowledge for all aspects of cutaneous disease.

For more details please visit www.jofskin.org or contact jofskin@gmail.com.

Link to article

(DOI: 10.25251/skin.2.1.1)

Jennifer J. Parker, MD, PhD
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
312 - 926 - 3521
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