One-Day Radiation Therapy a Recent Alternative for Breast Cancer Patients

Following up our earlier report of the patient benefits behind one-time single dose radiation therapy, Fox News offers another patient story of single dose radiation therapy – performed during breast cancer surgery – in this report:

Candidates for the procedure are women with early stage breast cancer, who have small tumors under about 2 centimeters, and who have hormone sensitive breast cancers, with no metastases to the lymph nodes.

With the intra-operative radiation therapy – IORT – procedure:

[P]atients are given the entire dose of radiation at once, though the total amount of radiation is less than the cumulative dose a woman receives when radiation is given over a period of six weeks. The surgeon first removes the tumor from the breast. Next, a radiation oncologist places a radiation device, which looks like a golf ball on a stick, into the cavity that’s left from the tumor removal.

The radiation treatment takes anywhere from 19 to 45 minutes, adding that much time to the surgical procedure.

In addition to the convenience of a single radiation treatment, patient benefits include:

Radiation is targeted at the cancer site so there’s less damage to surrounding healthy tissue, including the lungs or heart. There’s also less side effects like fatigue, burns, swelling, pain and skin thickening, since the device doesn’t radiate through the skin.

Currently, some 40 medical centers offer single-dose radiation – IORT – treatment in the United States, including the breast cancer treatment team led by Dr. Jay Harness.

To learn more contact Dr. Jay Harness or review the resource at this link provided by the Breast Program at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange, California [Los Angeles].

[Image Source: Fox News]

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