Breast cancer represents the most common cancer in women in the United States. About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. In 2011, the American Cancer Society estimated that 232,620 new cases of breast cancer would be diagnosed. Although the causes of breast cancer remain unknown, there are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing this disease:
There has been much excitement recently in discovering the genetics behind inherited breast cancer. Research has identified abnormal genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 that account for approximately 10 percent of all breast cancer cases.
Breast cancer treatment can be separated into two broad categories—local and distant. Local treatments consist of surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy) and radiation therapy to lower the risk of cancer returning on chest or regional lymph nodes. Distant treatments include chemotherapy, hormones and immunotherapy to decrease the risk of cancer coming back elsewhere in the body.
Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia offers two types of radiation therapy for breast cancer, Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and High Dose Rate brachytherapy (HDR). Your oncologist will determine which is best for your individual case.
Radiation therapy does not have the side effects of chemotherapy, such as hair loss, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Radiation is a local treatment, so it can cause local side effects, such as a skin reaction and temporary tenderness or swelling.
Radiotherapy Clinics of Georgia now offers MammoSite®/SenoRx®, a type of high-dose radiation therapy, to treat breast cancer using radiation delivered through a balloon inflated inside the lumpectomy cavity. The MammoSite®/SenoRx® 5-day Targeted Radiation Therapy System takes just five days instead of five to seven weeks. It’s well-tolerated with mild side effects for a shorter period of time.
Your doctor will carefully evaluate your cancer to determine if this type of treatment is right for you, but possible candidates are those with early-stage breast cancers (0, 1, 2) that are 3 cm or smaller with limited or no spread of cancer to the lymph nodes. Contact us for more information.
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