Scientists said that carefully chosen breast cancer sufferers at low risk of recurrence could be spared the side effects of radiotherapy Some women with breast cancer could be spared debilitating radiotherapy after undergoing surgery without harming their chances of survival, new research suggests. Older women with some types of early-stage cancers who undergo “breast-conserving surgery” and post-op hormone therapy gain very little added benefit from radiation treatment, according to a team from the University of Edinburgh.