What all does radiation therapy after breast-sparing surgery involve?

Prevent recurrence. Thi is done to sterilize the breast from any stray cancer cells that may have remained after the resection. It is done to equalize recurrence rates after preserving the breast to those after mastectomy.
Depends on technique. Classic radiation is given via external beams to whole breast over 6-7 weeks with primarily local affect like mild repeated sunburn (redness, irritation-more extreme may incl. Blistering or peeling). Newer techniques if a larger daily dose cn be given can reduce the time to 3-4 weeks. Other option is accelerated partial breast usually w/implanted device and seeds over 5 days.

Related Questions

What does it mean to have radiation therapy after breast-sparing surgery?

No mastectomy. In some types of breast cancer, the tumor is removed without a mastectomy, then x-ray therapy is used to make sure all the tumor is treated. Read more...
Sterilize the breast. The purpose of radiation therapy after lumpectomy is to lower the risk of local recurrence. This can be given from the "outside-in" (external beam) over 4-7 weeks, or, in select cases, over 5 days from the "inside-out" (brachytherapy). Intraoperative radiation therapy is a popular alternative in Europe and is just beginning to gain traction in the US. Read more...

Does radiation therapy affect having breast surgery? I would love to undergo breast reconstruction after my therapy, is that possible?

Reconstruction . Reconstruction after mastectomy and radiation therapy is absolutely possible. First and foremost, remember that radiation following mastectomy contributes significantly to improved disease control and survival for most patients with positive lymph nodes or tumors measuring over 5 cm. While radiation may increase the risk of complications following breast reconstruction, the majority of patients can under successful reconstruction. In general, autogenous flaps are preferred over implants in the setting of radiation. Your surgeon, plastic surgeon and radiation oncologist will work together to achieve optimal results. Read more...
Definitely possible. Yes, you certainly can, but radiation can affect your results, especially if you have reconstruction with breast implants. Tissue flap reconstructions tend to have fewer complications than implant reconstructions in patients that have had radiation. Please discuss this fully with your plastic surgeon. Read more...
Yes. It is a common procedure. Your plastic surgeon will describe the available options. Read more...
Very common. While the best cosmetic results from plastic reconstructive surgery and radiation therapy to the breast or chest wall work against one another this is a very common scenario that is fairly well understood and managed. Xrt is aimed at minimizing risk of cancer coming back. Plastic surgeon and rad onc will explain time table of the two. Basically implants or flaps must wait for 4 months after xrt. Read more...
Breast cancer. Breast reconstruction after radiation in my practice is most commonly performed with a flap like a diep, tug, sgap. The reason is that skin must be added back. If you don't have a flap a tissue expander must be place to help re establish the pocket that existed when the mastectomy was first done. Tissue expander and subsequent implant placement have higher failure rates when XRT has been done. Read more...
You should be able. Most women are candidates for breast reconstruction. In many women who require radiation therapy to treat their breast cancer we often delay their breast reconstruction about 6-12 months after radiation. At that time there are numerous options that are available. Usually using your own tissue is preferable. Ask your plastic surgeon. Read more...
Vascular compromise. Radiation is wonderful at destroying cancer cells, unfortunately, other than targeting the physical area, it is not specific and may destroy local health cells in close proximity to cancer cells. This will increase the local wound complication rate if local tissues are used for the reconstruction and the dr of distant flaps or free flaps may be preferred to bring in healthy tissue. Fat grafting? Read more...

Long term effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer vs surgery?

Very different. If you mean lumpectomy + radiation - the main side effects are some shrinkage of the breast in most cases and some firmness. Some patients have occasional breast pain, but usually not too bad. If the nodes inn the armpit are removed, swelling of the arm may be a possibility. Read more...
Mulltiple. Long term effects of radiation therapy for breast cancer include: radiation fibrosis of lung lymphedema of the affected side upper extremity myocardial injury hypothyroidism brachial plexus injury risk of second neoplasm (radiation induced malignancy). Read more...
Very tolerable today. Long term side effects from breast radiation are much less likely with modern techniques today as opposed to techniques used just nine or ten years ago. It also depends on the doctors skill sets and equipment. It also depends upon whether or not the XRT is only to the breast or also needs i include the lymph nodes under arm and above collar bone. Mostly cosmetic with increased density of breast. Read more...

Is radiation therapy used to treat benign breast tumor? Mom told me she is to undergo 6 weeks radiation. She had a surgery done to take out mass

Radiation. You need to have a talk with mom. Find out her exact diagnosis or even see if you can attend an appt with her. Read more...
Not benign. Radiation is not indicated in the treatment of benign breast tumors. She probably has infiltrating duct all carcinoma or ductal carcinoma in situ. Suggest you go along to her next appointment. Read more...
Sort of. Radiation is sometimes given to treat pre-cancerous lesions called dcis or sometimes lcis. Radiation for dcis drops the chance of developing invasive cancer from 11% to 4%. Read more...

What are my chances of cancer coming back if I have breast-sparing surgery with radiation?

Depends. The risk for recurrence of breast cancer after a lumpectomy and an adjuvant radiation therapy would depend on the stage and the biology of the breast cancer ( estrogen/prgesteron receptor, her2neu status, tumor size, lymph nodes involvement, k1-67 etc). Having an adjuvant radiation therapy after surgery will only reduce the risk for local recurrence of breast cancer to the same breast area. D/w md. Read more...
Depends. The risk of local recurrence following conservative surgery and radiation for breast cancer is slightly higher than with mastectomy but does not affect survival. The risk of distant relapse depends on the stage, grade, presence or absence of biological receptors and number of positive axillary nodes. Higher # of positive nodes portends higher risk of relapse which can be reduced by adjuvant tx. Read more...

What are the chances of the cancer coming back if I had breast-sparing surgery with radiation?

About 1 in 12. On average, ten years after breast-sparing surgery and radiation, 1 in 12 women will have a local recurrence (a cancer that comes back in the same breast.) the good news: even if you have such a recurrence, you are no more likely to die of breast cancer than women who had a mastectomy. Read more...
Low. If you had breast sparing surgery and just radiation most likely you had early stage breast cancer with favorable factors, negative lymph nodes etc. That did not require chemotherapy. There is a good chance 80-90% chance of disease not to come back. You may also be getting anti estrogen therapy that can even improve the odds up to 95% control. Read more...

What are the side effects of breast-sparing surgery and radiation?

Not too many. Surgery with breast sparing and radiation is a very common procedure for small early breast cancers. There will some minor surgical scar, and some women experience temporary breast skin redness or breast swelling with the radiation treatments. It is a very successful treatment in early cancers and avoids complete mastectomy surgery. Read more...

Could radiation therapy make my breast feel warm months later?

No. Usually not. The warmth of breast months out from radiation is more suggestive of an infection, or inflammation. I would recommend to followup with your surgeon for your oncologist if it does not resolve. Especially if it is associated with redness, fever, tenderness. Read more...
No. Months later skin reactions should have gone back to normal. However some patients may develop mastitis. In this case the breast will look red and warm and obviously different than the other side. If there are obvious differences then make sure you see your doctor. Read more...

What are side effects of radiation therapy in the breast?

Radiation therapy. Divided into -acute and late effects. Acute changes will include fatigue and skin changes that accumulate gradually within the radiated field over the course of treatment. Redness, soreness, sometimes with peeling off skin. Thickening of skin and breast edema also can happen. Late complication risk is low-may include arm swelling, radiation pneumonitis, nerve injury/brachila plexus etc. Read more...
Skin effect are. The most common during treatment, with redness of the skin in the front of the arm pit, and under the breast. It can range from red like sunburn, to dry and tanned, to loss of the superficial skin, with oozing serum (moist desquamation). Late effects include edema or shrinkage, arm swelling, rarely lung, heart, rib injury. Read more...
Breast Radiation. Side effects during treatment are related to the skin which can get dry, red, peel, tan.The breast can be more tender through the surgery site and there can be sharp shooting pains as well.Over time a diffuse scar tissue will form throughout the breast with the amount different for each lady.Some breasts end up bigger and others smaller.Usually takes two years to settle into permanent size and shape. Read more...