We offer comprehensive care to our patients and outstanding training to our residents, fellows and students. We invite you to learn more and discover why we are at the forefront of cancer treatment. We offer a variety of cutting-edge radiation therapies to our patients and we are always eager to discover more in the lab.
Radiation therapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses high energyX-rays to kill cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells. When used for breast cancer treatmentradiation is delivered to the affected breast and, in some cases, to the lymph nodes under the arm or at the collarbone. Radiation therapy is usually given after a lumpectomy and sometimes after a mastectomy to reduce the risk of local recurrence of breast cancer.
The following are the steps generally followed when a patient is preparing for radiation therapy. These may differ slightly depending on the protocol at your treatment facility or if your treatment is being done on an urgent basis, but many of the steps are the same across treatment facilities. Whenever radiation therapy is being considered as part of your treatment plan, a consultation visit will be arranged for you with a radiation oncologist, a physician specially trained in using radiation therapy for treating your type of cancer.
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.
This information will help you prepare for radiation therapy to your breast or chest wall, including what to expect before, during, and after your treatment. You will also learn about side effects and how to care for yourself during your treatment. Read through this resource before you start radiation therapy.
Before you begin radiation treatment, your radiation therapy team carefully plans your treatment in a process called radiation simulation. Treatment planning usually involves positioning your body, making marks on your skin and taking imaging scans. Your radiation therapy team determines whether you'll lie on your back, stomach or side during treatment.
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy rays or particles to treat disease. It works by killing tumor cells or inhibiting their growth and division. Through years of clinical trials, radiation oncologists have studied the use of radiation therapy to treat breast cancer.
Radiation therapy to the breast can cause some side effects. Some begin during treatment. Others may occur months or even years later. Your provider may be able to suggest a hospital social worker, patient navigator, psychologist or support group to help ease anxiety related to radiation therapy or breast cancer.
Simulation is a critical preparation step before radiation treatment. It is performed at the simulation room equipped with a dedicated big-bore CT scanner. During the simulation, the treatment setup will be simulated by positioning the patient on the flat couch immobilized by specially designed devices.
Before having breast radiationyou may need to have skin markings or radiation tattoos put on your breast skin. These marks help your radiation therapist aim the radiation precisely where it's needed. You may receive radiation five days a week for six weeks, and every treatment must be aimed at the same place in order to prevent recurrence and to spare healthy tissue.