IORT: Improved radiation treatment for early stage breast cancer

A video on MSNBC.com explains the advantages of intraoperative radiation therapy for women with early stage breast cancer. This approach delivers a single dose of radiation directly to the lumpectomy cavity immediately after a tumor is removed. Focusing the radiation in that cavity rather than applying radiation to the whole breast is as effective as whole breast radiation, according to research comparing the two methods.

IORT offers important advantages over traditional radiation therapy:

  • It is far less expensive
  • Side effects are reduced
  • It is far more convenient than having return to the hospital for weeks or months of therapy following surgery.

The Clinical Breast Cancer Program at NYP/Columbia has IORT equipment and will begin providing this therapy in August 2013.

The following article on Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation, written when IORT was in early investigational stages, provides additional information about this therapy which is now FDA approved.

Learn about breast cancer treatment at NYP/Columbia at breastmd.org.

NBC Nightly News videos about IORT may be viewed here.

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