For some cancer patients, the length and daily requirements of radiation therapy can force them to stop doing the things they enjoy. Now, a high-dose radiation therapy for breast cancer reduces the length of treatment from six and a half weeks to five days, so patients get back to their daily lives much sooner than they would with traditional radiation therapy treatment.
Instead of using external beam therapy, the MammoSite® Radiation Therapy System works from inside the breast by radiation via a catheter inserted directly into the surgical site during each therapy session.
With this method, the radiation is delivered to the area where cancer is most likely to recur, and the treatment minimizes damage to healthy tissue surrounding the breast.
“This treatment can have fewer side-effects than external beam radiation therapy, and overall patients have better experiences,” said Eugene Chang, MD. The therapy is administered on an outpatient basis at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center and patients come in for five days of treatment.
The MammoSite® system received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration in 2002. Since then, more than 32,000 women have been treated. A five-year clinical trial showed no local recurrences of breast cancer and good cosmetic results.
The American Society of Breast Cancer Surgeons recommends women over 45 years old who have localized breast cancer and tumors less than three centimeters in diameter as the most likely candidates for MammoSite® Radiation Therapy.