LIVEWELL MINUTE: Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation

This year more than 2,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Iowa. The John Stoddard Cancer Center at Iowa Methodist Medical Center is proud to offer patients the latest advancement in breast cancer radiation therapy called Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation.

Dr. Robert Isaak, M.D., Radiation Oncologist, John Stoddard Cancer Center says, “After a breast cancer tumor is removed, partial breast irradiation allows us to place the radiation source inside the lumpectomy cavity to deliver radiation to the area where cancer is most likely to recur. A good candidate for this type of treatment is a patient with early stage breast cancer.”

Using this technique, a small, soft balloon attached to a thin tube is placed inside the lumpectomy cavity through a small incision in the breast. The balloon is inflated and radiation treatments are administered twice a day for five days. After five days the balloon is deflated and the thin tube is removed. Standard radiation therapy lasts about six weeks.

Dr. Isaak tells us, “Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation treats the area that is most affected by the cancer, while minimizing the effect of the treatment on our patients. The shorter treatment length is also more convenient for the patient. It cuts down on trips to the hospital and has fewer treatment side effects.”

More information from the John Stoddard Cancer Center.

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