IMRT

This is the most exact method of treatment currently in our community. With intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image data from a CT (or “CAT”) scan is used to accurately plot your treatment in three dimensions. IMRT then varies the shape and intensity of the radiation beam, delivering the highest dose directly to the cancer while the surrounding tissues get the least.

With IMRT, planning this sophisticated treatment usually takes about one week and treatment is delivered in minutes as an outpatient procedure.

3-D conformal radiation therapy

This therapy uses computer simulation to produce an accurate image of a tumor and surrounding organs. Then it shapes multiple beams of radiation exactly to the contour of the treatment area.

This technique allows the tumor to be treated to a higher dose of radiation while sparing the surrounding tissues, thereby increasing cure rates and decreasing complications.

Brachytherapy

This radiation therapy uses tiny implants to “zap” cancer tumors from inside the body. Though brachytherapy is often used to treat prostate cancer, it may also help prevent breast cancer from reappearing after surgery.

A recent study shows that brachytherapy is as effective as standard radiation therapy in
reducing breast cancer recurrence up to five years after surgery. Brachytherapy uses tiny radioactive pellets surgically inserted to deliver more-targeted radiation directly at the tumor. The technique is also being evaluated as a treatment for other types of cancer as well as for heart disease.

Most women with breast cancer receive external radiation treatments that irradiate the entire breast after a lumpectomy. But similar results can now be achieved with a more localized dose of radiation through brachytherapy. The radioactive pellets are inserted during the lumpectomy.

MammoSite

You and your doctor should also know that Dr. Menache is experienced with one of the most exciting developments in the fight against breast cancer: MammoSite. This treatment lets women receive localized radiation therapy, only where cancer is present in the breast. MammoSite therapy takes about one week, compared with six weeks or more for the older approach. This often lifesaving treatment is currently available locally only through Dr. Menache.

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