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06 Jan 2015

Submission for Targeted Intraoperative Radiotherapy

Update

The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) recommended that intraoperative radiotherapy (IORT) be added to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for women aged over 50 with low-risk early breast cancers. The Australian Government accepted the recommendation and IORT was added to the MBS on 1 July 2015.

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Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) has made a submission to the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) supporting an application to include targeted intraoperative radiotherapy for early breast cancer on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

Targeted intraoperative radiotherapy involves applying radiotherapy directly to the breast tissue during breast conserving surgery. While it is not suitable for all types of breast cancers, clinical trials have found that for certain low risk cancers, it is as effective as the current standard radiotherapy treatment (whole breast radiotherapy), and has better cosmetic outcomes and fewer side effects.

Another key benefit is that only one radiotherapy treatment is required, rather than the current schedule of five days of radiotherapy treatment each week for up to six weeks. This is likely to have significant benefits for many women, including women in rural or remote parts of Australia who have to travel long distances away from family to receive radiotherapy and who experience significant costs as a result.

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