Radiation therapy — also called radiotherapy — is designed to kill cancer cells that may remain in the breast following surgery.
The return of breast cancer may be reduced by about 70% when radiation treatment is used. Many people are afraid of radiation therapy, believing that it will make them very ill. It's actually fairly tolerable because the side effects are usually only experienced in the treated area.
Our oncologist will choose the best therapy based on the type, stage and location of your cancer.
There are two basic types of radiation therapy:
* External beam radiation
* Internal radiation
And one more type of radiation therapy is:
* Systemic radiation therapy
Radiation can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence by about 70%. Despite what many people fear, radiation therapy is relatively easy to tolerate and its side effects are limited to the treated area.
Radiotherapy damages cancer cells in the region being treated. Although the radiation can also damage normal cells, they can usually repair themselves. During this repair process, you may experience some side effects, depending on the part of your body being treated.
Radiation therapy may be used:
* As a primary treatment to destroy cancer cells
* Before another treatment to shrink a tumor
* To relieve symptoms of advanced cancer
* In combination with other treatments to stop the growth of cancer cells
* After another treatment to stop the growth of any remaining cancer
Advanced Imaging Techniques" are incorporated in the radiation treatment so that the oncologists are able to monitor the tumor during the procedure. The radiation technologies are very targeted with the intention of delivering the maximum doses of radiation to the tumor, thereby reducing the trauma to surrounding healthy tissues and organs.
If a patient has arrived at the maximum level of radiation they may endure, we are usually able to offer other choices.
It is possible to have radiation therapy by itself or it may be combined with alternative options like: surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or immunotherapy.
The efficacy of the treatment will be monitored throughout the therapy and will be modified if and when necessary, by your radiation oncologist.