External beam radiation uses high-powered beams of energy to kill cancer cells. Beams of radiation are precisely aimed at the cancer using a machine that moves around your body. Radiation therapy for breast cancer uses high-energy X-rays, protons or other particles to kill cancer cells.
Skip to Content. Radiation therapy treats many types of cancer effectively. But like other treatments, it often causes side effects.
The study results address two radiation therapy techniques, including the more conventional approach radiation daily for 6 or 7 weeks or hypofractionated whole breast radiotherapy, a newer approach where patients receive higher doses over a shorter 3- to 4-week period. Seminal studies more than a decade ago found the shorter technique to be as effective and safe as the longer schedule. However, few younger patients were included in these studies, calling into question whether the results could be applied to the younger group. Thanks to a research effort led by Silvia Formenti, MDwho at the time co-led the Breast Cancer Research Program at NYU Langone, and is currently on faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College, four prospective studies looking at different hypofractionation regiments did not rule out enrolling younger patients.
W hen Annie Dennison was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she readily followed advice from her medical team, agreeing to harsh treatments in the hope of curing her disease. In addition to lumpectomy surgery, chemotherapy, and other medications, Dennison underwent six weeks of daily radiation treatments. She agreed to the lengthy radiation regimen, she said, because she had no idea there was another option.
Radiation therapy to the breast can cause some side effects. Some begin during treatment. Others may occur months or even years later.
Two studies have found that women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer treated with a shorter whole-breast radiation schedule after lumpectomy have fewer side effects and better quality of life than women treated with the longer, traditional radiation schedule. The studies were published online on Aug. Read the abstracts of:.
What is radiotherapy? When radiotherapy is given 3. Which areas are treated? How long will radiotherapy last?
December 19,by NCI Staff. Two large clinical trials compared whole-breast radiation therapy versus partial-breast radiation therapy in some women with early-stage breast cancer. New results from two clinical trials suggest that either of two types of radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery for women with early-stage breast cancer can reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
Physician attitudes and patient expectations are driving overtreatment in older breast cancer patients. A new U-M study examines why the practice persists. Recent clinical trials have shown that 90 percent of early stage breast cancer patients over age 70 do not benefit from radiation after breast-conserving surgery.