Breast Cancer Treatments
Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation
For early-stage breast cancer patients who have had a lumpectomy, we offer accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy. This leading edge approach provides targeted, internal treatment delivered in five days. Whole-breast radiation – the standard method – usually takes six weeks.
Accelerated partial breast irradiation delivers radiation directly to the breast cancer site, sparing healthy breast tissue.
Here’s how it works:
- A balloon catheter device, called the MammoSite Radiation Therapy System, is implanted in the lumpectomy cavity.
- The physician inflates the balloon with saline, then a carefully prescribed radioactive source is inserted through the catheter. This delivers precise computer-controlled radiation to the targeted tissue surrounding the cavity.
- The treatment is given twice daily for five days.
- Each treatment lasts about 15 minutes.
- No radiation remains in the body between treatments or after the final treatment.
- A thin wire delivers the prescribed dose of internal radiation directly to the site where recurrence is most likely to occur, minimizing exposure to healthy tissue in the breast, skin, ribs, lungs and heart.
The process of delivering radiation through an inserted radioactive source is called brachytherapy and has been well-tested. It has been used at The Rosenfeld Cancer Center for many years in the treatment of numerous cancers, including head and neck, gynecologic and prostate cancers.
Research has shown that partial breast irradiation produces comparable results to whole-breast radiation therapy in preventing breast cancer recurrence in women with early-stage breast cancer treated with breast-conserving therapy, such as lumpectomy.
Learn more about our breast cancer care: