Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy x-rays, or other types of radiation, to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. There are two types:

  • External beam radiation is usually used after a lumpectomy as part of breast conservation therapy. It can be administered as partial breast radiation ( only a portion of the breast receives treatment) or whole breast radiation. In some cases it is recommended after mastectomy in more advanced stages of the cancer.
  • Brachytherapy places radioactive material inside your body using tubes or catheters placed inside the breast tissue.

Side-Effects of External Beam Radiation Therapy

  • Fatigue
  • Red, sunburn-like rash where the beam is aimed
  • Change in breast tissue (swollen or more firm)
  • Arm swelling if given in combination with axillary node dissection

Studies are underway to determine if women who have undergone a lumpectomy could benefit from partial breast irradiation. This involves higher doses of radiation aimed at only a part of the breast rather than the entire breast. The radiation dose can be delivered from an external beam, or from tubes or catheters placed inside the breast tissue (brachytherapy).

Spotlight

The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is pleased to announce its upcoming FREE Telephone Education Workshop on Ovarian Cancer, Monday, March 9, 2015.

Awareness

2015 National Race to End Women’s Cancer Chair Camille Grammer wants all women to know the symptoms of uterine cancer.

Research

The Foundation’s research award winners will be announced in later this month. Thank you to all who sent in their applications.

Education

The next Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course is May 8 in Orlando, FL. For more information, click here.